‘Outrageous’ and ‘rejuvenated’ – Sancho has ‘mojo back’

Home » ‘Outrageous’ and ‘rejuvenated’ – Sancho has ‘mojo back’

“Outrageous”, “rejuvenated” and “arrogance” – Jadon Sancho was the talk of the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Manchester United loanee breezed past Paris St-Germain defenders time and time again as Borussia Dortmund took a slender 1-0 advantage in the Champions League semi-final first leg and left many Man Utd fans asking why their club could not get the best out of the forward.

The 24-year-old had completed more dribbles by half-time in front of Dortmund’s raucous ‘Yellow Wall’ on Wednesday than he managed in any of his 58 appearances in the Premier League as he showed signs of being the player United paid Dortmund £73m for in July 2021.

His high-profile move to Old Trafford saw him struggle for form and consistency, scoring 12 goals in 82 appearances, and falling out with manager Erik ten Hag.

Dortmund fans though are enjoying a different player since his return on loan in January – one who could help their side into the Champions League final against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich at Wembley Stadium.

Former Scotland striker Ally McCoist told TNT Sports: “Sancho looks like a different player entirely. His body language is like the player Man Utd bought.

“You can tell a lot from body language and he wants to take people on and play. He certainly looks rejuvenated.

“It is confidence, he has his mojo back. He is in an environment where he is liked and he looks like a different footballer.”

Sancho finished the match with 12 successful dribbles, the most completed by a player in a Champions League match this season.

It was also the most by a player in a Champions League semi-final since Lionel Messi in April 2008 against Man Utd (16) and the most on record in the competition by an Englishman.

With performances like this, it is no wonder Dortmund want Sancho to remain next season.

But, for the loan to be repeated next season, or turned into a permanent transfer, it would require significant compromise on all sides.

Dortmund can’t match the salary Sancho gets at United. But United, under severe pressure to comply with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules, cannot just hand over an asset of that size.

It is clear there is no future for Sancho at Old Trafford if Ten Hag remains as manager. But he may not, which opens up the possibility of a return to United even if the feeling persists he will be playing elsewhere next season.

Before that though, Sancho and Dortmund have a job to complete, with PSG still very much in the tie at 1-0 down after a frantic first leg.

It could have been so much better for the hosts had goalscorer Niclas Fullkrug converted a couple of golden second-half opportunities created by Sancho, although PSG will also wondering how they didn’t score after numerous chances themselves.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, said: “Jadon was making players dance, he was a joke. We haven’t seen that since he was at Dortmund before. What I say today more than anything, that was cage football Sancho. This is the kid who grew up in cage football with that bit of swagger.

“He is the groove now. He will come off the pitch on a high. But I want to know what happened at Man Utd, why didn’t it go well there. The plus point for Man Utd is a lot of teams will want him now.”

Former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves, added: “Jadon was outrageous, it just shows the talent he has.

“His body language suggested he believes. There was a bit of arrogance. At United he didn’t commit people but Jadon answered a lot of questions. He outplayed every player on the pitch and there are world-class players.

“He out performed the best player in the world, Kylian Mbappe. He looked fitter, and sharper and more confident.”.

For Sancho though, there was no getting carried away as he batted away any post-match questions about his future.

He told CBS: “When we have our fans we are so motivated from the start. But this tie is not over, we still have to go to Paris and get the job done.

“I appreciate all the compliments but I take it game by game. Performances like today, I hope can carry on.

“I came here at 17, they gave me the opportunity to play professional football and I am delighted to be welcomed back and I am focused on the present right now.”

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