Ten Hag wishes Sancho good luck after Man Utd exit

AFP , Friday 12 Jan 2024

Erik ten Hag insists he wants Jadon Sancho to impress at Borussia Dortmund after the Manchester United winger's loan move back to his former club.

Ten Hag   Sancho
FILE - Manchester United s Dutch head coach Erik ten Hag and winger Jadon Sancho. Photo: AFP


Sancho's troubled spell at Old Trafford has come to an end, temporarily at least, after the breakdown of his relationship with United boss Ten Hag.

The 23-year-old joined United from Dortmund in 2021, but he struggled to make an impact before clashing with Ten Hag over his lack of playing time.

He has been in exile since claiming he had been made a "scapegoat" after Ten Hag said he did not reach the "level" required to be involved in their squad at Arsenal in August.

Sancho has been training away from the rest of the squad since then and has now returned to Dortmund for the remainder of the season without an option to buy, saying it felt like he was "coming home".

Asked about Sancho's departure, Ten Hag told reporters: "I hope he's doing well, so I wish him the best of luck.

"That's it. I hope he's doing well and he will be a success."

Ten Hag has been reluctant to speak about Sancho during his four-month absence and shut down further talk about the England international on Friday.

Sancho's hopes of ever making a successful return to United look bleak, with Ten Hag refusing to be drawn on questions about the forward's long-term future.

"No, I already replied. I think it's enough," he said.

Ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash against Tottenham, Ten Hag said Lisandro Martinez could be involved for the first time since injuring a foot in September.

Casemiro is also back in training after a hamstring complaint suffered in October, while Christian Eriksen is available after illness.

Ten Hag's options are improving and the United boss hopes that is matched by an upturn in players' form.

Antony has struggled more than most since joining from Ajax in 2022.

He was given a leave of absence in September to deal with allegations of abuse against him that the Brazil winger strongly denies.

Ten Hag believes the off-field issues have had a big impact on Antony.

"I can explain. I think it's very simple. I think his off-field issues stop him playing," Ten Hag said.

"I think the first year was OK and I think in the pre-season he was very OK. First four games were very good.

"He was out and then he came back. He didn't deliver the performance we should expect from him and he can do so much better.

"You mention Ajax, also I look back there so his effectiveness, his end product was very high there and also in the Champions League very high. So, I am sure he's capable of doing this."

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