Ralf Rangnick has lauded Jadon Sancho for surviving a difficult start to life at Manchester United, believing the talented winger is as excellent as he was at Borussia Dortmund.
Sancho was a £73 million summer signing with lofty expectations following his four years in Dortmund, where he scored 50 goals and added 64 assists in 137 games. However, that form did not initially translate to England, with Sancho scoring just one league goal and adding no assists in his first 18 appearances.
Fortunately for the 21-year-old, his form has significantly improved over the last few weeks. United have kept themselves in the battle for Champions League football with his two goals and three assists in six games, and Rangnick admits it’s a great moment to be working with Sancho.
“He is now recognizable as the Jadon Sancho I have known since he was 18,” said Rangnick in a press conference.
“He is now getting closer to the Jadon Sancho I’ve known from Germany. In the end, it’s all about confidence. Game time, confidence. Confidence, game time. He was performing at a very high level.
“We can only be successful as a team. If you’re not being successful, if you’re not playing well as a team, tell me one single player in football who can still develop his own career. It’s impossible. It’s only possible with raising the level of performance of the whole team. This is what happened [against Spurs].
“With Jadon, as you know when he was 17, I was trying to convince him to join us at Leipzig. Unfortunately, he decided to go to Dortmund which was not the worst choice he could make at the time. When I came here [to United] it was clear we had to try everything to help him to get the best version of himself.”
“The club paid quite a few pounds for him in order to lure him away from Borussia Dortmund and if you pay that amount of money in a transfer fee for a player, he should perform on this kind of level.
“At the end, they are all human beings. The mere fact he cost a lot of money does not mean that he is playing at that level to start with.
“He told me that of course, it was a problem for him to get adjusted to the intensity of the league, to the physicality of the league. Now he has managed to do that. I’m happy to see him play at that kind of level right now.”
Sancho and United are now gearing up for a tough decider in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid, with the scores level at 1-1 after the first leg.