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J. Sancho

'He wasn't in the right fitness state' - Man Utd boss Ten Hag explains why Sancho is in individual training & refuses to give timeline for return

11:17 PM GMT 13/12/2022
Jadon Sancho 2022-23
Erik ten Hag has opened up on the decision to send Jadon Sancho away on an individual training break and commented on his possible return.
  • Ten Hag confirms Sancho training plan
  • Cites fitness issues as reason
  • No date on possible return

WHAT HAPPENED? With club football booting back up and the World Cup coming to an end, Manchester United and what remained of the first team headed to Spain for a mid-season training camp and two-game tour. Everyone except Sancho, that is, who spent the World Cup break in the Netherlands with specialist coaches, working through an individual programme away from the rest of the team.

WHAT HE SAID: Speaking to reporters, he explained: "We didn’t see him in the last games for United as he wasn’t in the right fitness state and he is now on an individual programme.We want him to finish that and hopefully see him back soon. We want to bring him back as quickly as possible but I can’t give a prognosis of when that will be."

He added: "When the league started he played some good games, but after we got a drop of levels. Sometimes you don't know why or what is causing it. Most of the time it comes slowly. First you observe but the stats back it up. In the start of the season he had goals and assists but his key moments and key actions became less and less. It's a combination of physical but also mental. We're trying to research and get him back."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Sancho has only managed to impress in ebbs and flows since his £73 million move to Old Trafford in 2021. A slow first season showed signs of picking up in 2022, and after a promising start under Ten Hag, his form derailed completely and he found himself losing his place to 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho. Since signing for United, Sancho has only managed eight goals and four assists from 52 appearances.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR SANCHO? Following on from Ten Hag's comments, it feels unlikely that Sancho will have worked his way back into the fold in time for a chance to impress against Burnley in the Carabao Cup on December 21.