How would you expect Manchester United players to celebrate beating Newcastle 4-1 last weekend? The answer to that question may not have been about attending Heaton Park’s Parklife Festival, which is well located along the Bury Tram line from Old Trafford.
That’s exactly how Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford celebrated the three points, but spent quality time together off the field watching American hip-hop trio Migos and British grime star Skepta perform.
Although Ole Gunnar Solskjær has proudly revealed that United’s squad is a relatively close-knit group away from Carrington, something he sees as a necessity for success, there are of course players who are closer to some teammates than others.
By all accounts, Sancho and Rashford are two players who have developed a close bond over the past few years, and images circulated this summer with the pair on the English national team’s iconic unicorn ball with wide grins etched across their faces.
Manchester United enjoyed a sensational transfer window that secured the acquisitions of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and … oh, yes, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be pressured to deliver silverware with his star-studded front line. We cover all angles in the club at MENNE and with our dedicated United newsletter you will never miss a headline. It’s free and there’s no spam.
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These images gave rise to speculation that United would finally sign Sancho, but now they, the winger who scored 16 goals and created 20 assists last season, has no doubt not yet arrived in Manchester – he has not managed to hit the ground , as he would have hoped.
There are some factors to consider when analyzing Sancho’s first handful of matches for United during this period, as he overcame a hasty pre-season and illness to eventually make his full debut against the Wolves at Molineux, where he eventually became replaced.
It makes sense to give all players – especially young players or those coming from foreign countries, both of whom apply to Sancho – enough time to judge when moving to a club, but so far the 21-year-old has not hit form he regularly did in Germany, though there have been fleeting glimpses of abilities.
Sancho will probably have a permanent place in Solskjærs start -XI in the foreseeable future regardless of his contribution on the field in the coming weeks, but when his close friend Rashford returns from an injury, that may change.
With Mason Greenwood currently inseparable in form and Cristiano Ronaldo playing through the middle, leaving the left flank to fight for, and when Rashford is fully recovered from his shoulder problem – he has understood to be ahead of his rehabilitation – he will present Solskjær for a committee headache.
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That’s because if both players are in shape, who would Solskjær choose between Sancho and Rashford on the left?
It’s an awkward but pleasant question that only the United boss can answer, and while it obviously depends on Greenwood remaining one of the Reds’ most important players, Sancho can make that decision an easier call with his performances. .
Although Sancho and Rashford are close friends, they are first and foremost competitors – they will both be desperate to start games.
Sancho must seize the opportunity while Rashford is still on the sidelines to make Solskjaer’s dilemma easier to answer.
If he does not, he could ruin the wasted chance to impress in the coming months.