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Sancho to Man Utd: Where will Solskjaer's new £73m signing play?

12:00 BST 01/07/2021
Jadon Sancho Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Dortmund Man Utd GFX
The Red Devils have agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund for the 21-year-old, but how will he fit into the team and what is his best position?

One of the most drawn-out transfer sagas in recent memory is finally nearing an end, after Manchester United agreed to pay £73 million ($101m) for Borussia Dortmund ace Jadon Sancho.

The transfer is subject to a medical, but the England attacker is now set to move to Old Trafford after his involvement in Euro 2020.

His long-awaited arrival will give United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer even more options in an already exciting forward line. 

And while England boss Gareth Southgate has not been able to find room for Sancho in his starting line-up, there is little doubt that the 21-year-old will be a key player at United.

But where exactly will Sancho fit in? Goal runs through all of his possible positions below...  

On the right

United have been lacking a natural right-sided winger for years, which is why Solskjaer has always been so keen on signing Sancho, who has racked up 50 goals and 57 assists in 137 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund.

In the past, the Norwegian has been forced to play the two-footed and incredibly versatile Mason Greenwood out wide, leaving Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani to battle for the centre-forward role. 

However, Greenwood prefers to play through the middle, so the acquisition of Sancho will mean his fellow England international will now be free to stake a claim for a starting spot in his best position.

The increase in competition for places will also ensure that Solskjaer will always have a couple of potential game-changers on the bench.

On the left 

One of Sancho's most attractive attributes is his versatility. Indeed, it is worth noting that he regularly played on the left flank last season in Dortmund's 3-4-3 formation, striking up a formidable partnership with Portugal wing-back Raphael Guerreiro. 

However, it seems likely that Sancho will only be used on the left wing if United are short on numbers.

Remember, it is not just Marcus Rashford who prefers to play on the left; Martial has always looked more comfortable in that position too. And neither man has ever truly thrived when stationed on the right-hand side. 

Nonetheless, Sancho's ability to switch wings offers Solskjaer the chance to rest Rashford whenever the need arises, or mix things up in the middle of games to confuse opponents.

Attacking midfield 

The least likely but most intriguing option now available to Solskjaer is deploying Sancho as a No.10.

While his skills are best utilised in a wide role, as it allows him to cut inside and torment defenders with his "incredible dribbling skills", the former Manchester City youth-team star is capable of playing behind a striker, meaning he could stand in for Bruno Fernandes whenever required.

Portugal international Fernandes is the kind of character that wants to play every game, and he often has to, given his importance to the team. But it was clear on several occasions last season that Bruno was in need of a rest.

Sancho's imminent arrival means that giving Fernandes a break is now a far more attractive option, given the England man could also shine as an attacking midfielder.