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When will Sancho be back for Man Utd? Ten Hag issues blunt response after Carabao Cup progress

11:10 EAT 22/12/2022
Jadon Sancho 2022-23
Erik ten Hag has refused to speculate on when Jadon Sancho could be considered ready for and deserving of a recall at Manchester United.
  • Forward left out of England World Cup squad
  • Missed Red Devils' training camp in Spain
  • Not involved in cup victory over Burnley

WHAT HAPPENED? The England international forward was left out of the Three Lions’ squad for the 2022 World Cup, allowing him to work on his fitness at club level. Part of that process saw Sancho spend time in the Netherlands during a break in domestic action, but he was not in contention for a place in United’s matchday squad when they faced Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

WHAT THEY SAID: Asked by Sky Sports after that contest whether an update could be offered on Sancho and when he might be absorbed back into the Red Devils’ ranks, Ten Hag merely said: “No.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: United boss Ten Hag had previously said when explaining Sancho’s absence from a training camp and friendly dates in Spain: "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. 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."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Sancho has endured a tough time at Old Trafford since completing a £73 million ($88m) transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2021, with just eight goals and four assists recorded through 52 appearances in all competitions.