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Manchester United must unleash Sancho against Wolves

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag must unleash Jadon Sancho tomorrow when they travel to the Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in a crucial Premier League fixture, with the race for top-four very much on.

The Red Devils sit in fifth place in the division having won three of their past four fixtures in the division, and a further triumph this weekend would put them two points above Tottenham Hotspur in fourth – who have currently played an extra match. 

With Dutch manager assuming the role of head coach at the club this summer, following a dreadful preceding campaign where the prestigious outfit finished sixth, on just 58 points, fortunes have certainly hinted at positive, impactful change.

Signing for United for £73m from German side Borussia Dortmund last summer, Sancho has failed to live up to the price tag thus far, scoring only eight goals and assisting a further four across 52 fixtures since his debut.

This is a notable drop from the captivating prolific performances that earned him such supreme plaudits in Germany, plundering 50 goals and 64 assists from 137 outings for the Yellow Wall.

The 21-year-old is not the first promising talent to fail to hit the ground running following a move to the relentless, high-octane pressure of Premier League football, but his natural ability and blitzing pace holds the key to unlocking a bright future in the division, with Owen Hargreaves saying in 2020 that he is “off the charts”.

As per Sofascore, in the 20/21 campaign – Sancho’s last in the German Bundesliga – the dynamo recorded a spectacular average match rating of 7.55, snatching eight goals and 11 assists from just 24 starts, dazzling with 2.0 shots and creating 2.7 chances per outing.

It is this level of output that will wedge him into Ten Hag’s plans, and with Wolves languishing in the Premier League relegation zone, he will have a wonderful opportunity to ramp up the gas and prove his worth, should he earn a starting position.

Football writer Drake Hills also lauded the player for his “dangerous” impact out wide, maintaining the threat levels that his pace gives him either with or without the ball. 

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It hasn’t quite worked out so far, but against Wolves, who are going to attempt to erect strong defensive walls to rebuff the United attack, someone with Sancho’s unique skill and flair could find the marginal crack in the wall to burst through and provide his team with a victory to continue the resurgence.