Peter Schmeichel has told Jadon Sancho to mimic Cristiano Ronaldo if he wants to come good at Manchester United – even if it takes three years.
The England winger has struggled to make much of an impact at Old Trafford since his £73million transfer from Borussia Dortmund over the summer.
But former United goalkeeper Schmeichel believes 21-year-old Sancho will prosper in the team if he pays close attention to what the Portuguese superstar is doing.
He told the Seaman Says podcast: ‘You’re a young player in that squad, somebody like Jadon Sancho for instance.
‘It’s a big, big, big price tag for him and it feels a bit heavy for him at the moment.
‘But he will look at this guy [Ronaldo] and he can say, “If I do something along those lines, I can be as good as him. I have all the basics, but I can be as good as him.”
‘That might take him two, three years to catch on to that but that then gives him maybe ten, 12 years after that.
‘This is what Ronaldo gives. I was celebrating when I heard he was returning, running around like crazy in my garden even though I can’t run. But I did.’
In contrast to Sancho, Ronaldo wasted little time reminding everyone at United how good he is with four goals in the first three games of his second spell with the club.
The forward then scored a dramatic 96th-minute winner as United beat Villarreal in their second Champions League group fixture, a campaign they pick up at home to Atalanta on Wednesday night.
Club legend Schmeichel compared the impact of Ronaldo’s return to when Eric Cantona came to the club in 1992.
He said: ‘This is what he brings. He is 36, getting to 37 now, but he looks chiselled and we saw that when he scored that late goal in Europe the other week.
‘He is fantastically fit and the reason he is is because he takes his football so seriously. He eats, sleeps, drinks and trains football, his whole life is about that.
‘I remember when Eric came, he infused something different into our dressing room or into the whole character of the club because he was different, he did things in a different way.
‘Before you knew it, some of the younger players were starting to do that and they were still developing. The Nevilles, Scholes and Nicky Butt, they looked at Eric and started to do some of his things.
‘With [United coach] Eric Harrison they had a great footballing education and they were maybe 97 per cent ready to go out there.
‘Those three per cent, the last bit, came from Eric and that made them just a tiny bit different to other players they were up against in their positions. It is the same with Cristiano.’