Jadon Sancho feels better placed to make a positive impact at Manchester United during his second season at Old Trafford, with the England international looking to avoid being written off as a £73 million ($88m) flop. Big money was invested in his ability during the summer of 2021, but a debut campaign with the Red Devils delivered only five goals and three assists through 38 appearances in all competitions.
He has been looking lively in pre-season, with the target found on three occasions in four games, and the 22-year-old forward believes there is more to come from him as an individual and United as a collective as they open an exciting new era under the guidance of Erik ten Hag.
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Sancho has said of proving his worth at Old Trafford as the World Cup finals in Qatar also figure prominently in his thoughts: “It’s my second year now, settling into the team, knowing how players play and I’m excited for the upcoming season, with a new manager and how he wants us to play.
“I think it will be good for myself. The training, especially in pre-season, has been a real positive and all the lads have taken on board what he’s saying.
“You can see it in the games, we’re creating a lot more chances, keeping the ball more and just making good things out of the style we’re playing. This is my first pre-season with United because, last year, I had an infection in my ear, so I couldn’t do the whole pre-season with the team which was a bit annoying at the time.
“It meant a lack of fitness and understanding of how the players play. But now, this season, I feel a lot more comfortable and, especially scoring in pre-season, it is a confidence boost for myself and, hopefully, I can take that into the season and keep it going.
“This pre-season, we have the same players, but it just looks like a whole different team and I do think that’s something we’re working on and I feel like we’re getting better.
“The manager is big on team-bonding and having fun together and doing things like team dinners and things like that. So, yeah, it’s helping.”
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The Red Devils posted their worst-ever Premier League points return in 2021-22, with only 58 collected in total en route to a sixth-place finish and failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Sancho admits that United were not good enough, but has said of efforts to bounce back in style under a Dutch tactician: “Last year wasn’t great and I feel like everyone has something to prove for this upcoming season.
“We don’t want to put performances in like we did last year and upset the fans. Some fans travelled for a long time to get to the stadium and watch us not perform.
“I’m sure, this year, everyone is going to make up for that and make sure every game we play we put 100 per cent in and make sure the fans are smiling at the end of the game.”