Manchester United have not ruled out making a summer move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.
It’s set to be a busy transfer window for United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims to finally complete his squad overhaul, with a number of positions being targeted.
While the signings of a new striker and centre-back are more pressing concerns, a move for a first-team ready right-winger is still being considered with Sancho the ideal candidate.
Yet, M.E.N. Sport understands that United have not ruled out making a fourth attempt to sign Sancho this summer, with the 21-year-old’s value having dropped considerably due to the pandemic, his personal form and Dortmund’s position in the Bundesliga – with the Germans looking unlikely to qualify for the Champions League.
Here are four ways that United could line up if they finally get their man…
Solskjaer has seemingly settled on the 4-2-3-1 as being his favourite formation which is what Sancho regularly plays in at Dortmund.
Of Sancho’s 130 games for Dortmund, 70 have come on the right-wing and he has 24 goals and 37 assists to his name from the flank, a far bigger contribution to goals than United have seen from the likes of Mason Greenwood and Daniel James who have mostly been used in the spot by Solskjaer.
United have been desperate to add a quality right-winger to their squad for a while now so it would make the most sense if the manager deployed him in that position, especially since it’s where he has performed the best in Germany.
With the defensively-minded Aaron Wan-Bissaka providing plenty of cover, Sancho would have the freedom to attack and would almost certainly give United another edge going forward – especially if Edinson Cavani stays to benefit from his expert delivery.
Signing Sancho would give options to Solskjaer to rotate his forward line and perhaps afford chances to Marcus Rashford and Greenwood to play in their preferred central attacking position.
The former Manchester City academy star is also more than comfortable on the left-wing, with 34 goals and assists from the position in just 38 games, so could easily be used on the flank to allow Rashford to be deployed in the middle of an attacking three. Or if he remained on the right, Greenwood could move centrally instead.
Not only would the addition of Sancho give United one of the fastest attacks in the Premier League, but it would make them so dynamic with all their attackers able to adapt to any position as well.
It would also lessen the burden on United to sign a new striker if Cavani does leave the club this summer, with the race to sign Erling Haaland set to be a difficult one.
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Manchester United fought back superbly to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.
After a VAR row following United’s disallowed goal in the first half, Son Heung-Min opened the scoring for Spurs. But United came roaring back in the second half to win, with goals from Fred, Edinson Cavani and Mason Grenwood.
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While it’s more of a rarity these days, Solskjaer has often utilised a back-three formation when coming up against quality sides and Sancho would make it an even stronger weapon in his arsenal.
Although Sancho has primarily been used as a winger at Dortmund, he has on more than 20 occasions played in a more central position, brought inside to accommodate a right-wing back.
Sancho may be known for his blistering pace and skill, but he also has a fine pass on him as well as a keen eye for goal, so he can be extremely effective in the middle of the park. Seeing him combine with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba could lead to some excellent football.
Fernandes back-up (4-2-3-1)
With Sancho also able to play in an attacking-midfield position, he could be used there if United ever find themselves without talisman Fernandes for a prolonged period of time.
Donny van de Beek has been the Portuguese’s stand-in this season but has so far struggled to impress and it’s currently hard to see Solskjaer trusting him to fill the void Fernandes would leave.
Sancho, on the other hand, has a similar output of goals and assists to Fernandes and could be a great temporary solution if he ever picks up a lengthy injury.