Manchester United: Red Devils' inconsistent form persists while Sancho shines

Solskjaer, Sancho and Woodward

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain one of the most inconsistent in Europe, with wins against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig proceeding two disappointing performances in the Premier League.

Those results came against Chelsea and Arsenal, two clubs vying for top four finishes this season, but it was the manner in which the Red Devils bowed down to both and accepted their fate in demeaning fashion that irritated fans.

The question has been raised how, in just seven days, United can go from world-beaters to a team that looks lost on the pitch without any sense of real urgency or direction.

While some improvements were made to the squad over the summer transfer window, there’s still a glaring hole that’s yet to be filled: right wing.

It’s well documented that Jadon Sancho was the club’s principal target in this position, and it’s obvious that they’re longing for a player of his quality more than ever to attack from the right-hand side.

Sancho’s three goals and two assists in nine appearances for Borussia Dortmund this season showcase a very evident, almost tangible, justification as to why United were desperately chasing the Englishman’s signature.

Jadon Sancho Borussia Dortmund stats

Sancho would’ve been the big-name signing of the summer for the Red Devils, which the club’s hierarchy wanted as a symbol of their backing of Solskjaer, providing him with the player he has long coveted.

The England international would’ve locked down a starting berth on the right flank for many years to come, which has been a significant problem area for United since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Instead of filling the void with players like Juan Mata and Daniel James at times this season, Sancho’s presence and overall ability could’ve helped the Red Devils to important wins in the early stages of the season.

Mason Greenwood has occupied the right wing under Solskjaer in his early career, but it’s clear to see the youngster’s long-term future is down the middle, as the main centre forward.

While Greenwood can, of course, perform an important job on the wing, he should be rivalling and providing competition for the likes of Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani, as well as Sancho, if he’d have joined in the summer. At only 19 years of age, Greenwood still has plenty to learn and must remain patient.

Mason Greenwood Manchester United

With United unable, or perhaps just unwilling, to meet Sancho’s £120m asking price in the summer, it now only invites other top-tier clubs to join the race come the end of the season.

Liverpool, who are reportedly weighing up the option of cashing in on either Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah, could well be the preferred destination for Sancho, who could comfortably fill the vacancy left on either wing.

Real Madrid, who failed to spend a penny in the last transfer window, will be lining up a big coup for the summer of 2021, with Sancho undoubtedly on their wishlist. Alternatively, if Los Blancos decide to pull the trigger on Kylian Mbappé, then a domino effect may evolve, with the likes of PSG joining in the race for Sancho’s services.

One thing is certain: United will not have a free run at signing Sancho like they did last summer. They ultimately failed to secure the result they wanted, but Sancho should remain the club’s utmost priority next time around, given their glaring need for world class quality in his position.

Solskjaer was left devastated that he couldn’t bring Sancho to Old Trafford, but there’s no doubt the club will be back in for him when the opportunity next arises. This story is just getting started.

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