Some people fear change, but there’s no denying it’s often needed in all aspects of life, including in football.
When Jadon Sancho swapped Manchester for Germany four years ago it certainly raised eyebrows, but the youngster studying at Borussia Dortmund’s renowned school of first-team football has proved to be an inspired decision and he’s now stylishly graduated.
Manchester United have made their admiration for Sancho no secret and, while talks broke down last year over the possibility of the 21-year-old signing for the Reds, it seems this summer could finally be the moment for the transfer saga to reach its conclusion.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer views Sancho as an ideal signing and it’s not hard to see why, although the Norweigan isn’t alone in his approval of the player, and quite naturally his outstanding talent is attracting links from other elite clubs in Europe.
United need to act decisively.
Anyone that watches Sancho for the first time will be immediately drawn to his quick feet, exceptional composure and deadly finishing in front of goal, but while those qualities are what makes him so endearing, the statistics and hard data reaffirm his ability.
The concept of expected goals (xG) is relatively new in football but it’s a helpful statistic that is becoming increasingly popular.
The metric quantifies a goal-scoring opportunity by assessing a chance based on a number of different variables such as shot location and shot type, among other factors and Sancho’s consistent overperformance on the metric is a testament to his astute finishing.
In layman’s terms, every season Sancho has scored more goals in the Bundesliga than would have been expected from the quality of chances he received, meaning he’s clearly a more than competent goalscorer, despite predominantly playing as a creative winger.
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While Sancho scoring eight goals from 6.7 xG this season is respectable, his haul from last campaign of 17 goals from 9.8 xG proves just how clinical he can be, with the Dortmund man scoring almost double the tally than would have been ‘normal’ or ‘expected’.
Marcus Rashford has developed into an excellent left-forward since his flawless transition to that role, and while he would have liked to have scored more in the league this term after notching on 11 occasions, his contribution has been crucial for United.
The prospect of Rashford on the left and Sancho on the right is a thought to savour – United need to make it happen.