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Jadon Sancho’s brilliant England display could actually be bad news for Man United

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Jadon Sancho hasn’t enjoyed a great start to life at Old Trafford. In six games so far for Manchester United, the youngster has failed to register a single goal or assist and seems to be struggling to adapt.

However, he started the season slowly last year with Borussia Dortmund before exploding into action, eventually securing double figures in goals and assists respectively for the third consecutive campaign.

Such is the nature of football, however, his poor start to the season has seen him heavily criticised – with his lofty price tag often at the heart of such debate – and in a recent interview, national team boss Gareth Southgate did little to downplay the criticism. However, he did offer his support to the player.

“Does he deserve to be in [the England squad] on these performances over the last few weeks? Well, probably not,” Southgate said when discussing Sancho’s involvement with the Three Lions. “But I think we feel we have invested in Jadon over a period of time, we believe he can get to a high level.

“I would like some time with him to chat with him and help that process that’s going on at United as well and I think for him to feel that we have belief in him at this point is a good message.

“We try to individually do the right thing at the right time, send the right message and sometimes the right message is to leave a player out and maybe they respond and that’s the right thing but we feel with Jadon at this time it is important for us to keep him with us.”

Sancho seems to have responded well to this show of support, starting for England against Andorra on Saturday night where he registered two assists and was a constant threat.

The confidence that Sancho will gain from such a good performance will hopefully be the spark that ignites his United career into life, but there is a major problem that his performance presents.

Sancho played on the left wing for England against Andorra, and one thing United definitely don’t need is another left winger, especially with Marcus Rashford working his way back into contention.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bought Sancho to solve the creativity issue down the right-hand side, with the position not really being addressed since Antonio Valencia was converted into a right-back under Louis van Gaal.

But, with some of Sancho’s best performances at Dortmund coming from the left-hand side, are United just experiencing another case of shoving square pegs into round holes?

With Rashford returning to full fitness, Sancho’s only real chance of regular football will be to make the right-wing spot his own, meaning he’ll need to strike up a partnership with first-choice right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Solskjaer has now got a huge problem that he needs to solve. Sancho’s best performances in a United shirt have come from the left-hand side and he’s now produced his best display of the season from that very same position.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely problem to have, but it’s still a problem nonetheless, and it’s decisions like these that will likely determine whether Solskjaer is deemed a success at Old Trafford or not.

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Rio Ferdinand issues major warning about Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

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Former centre-back Rio Ferdinand believes it is still too early to judge whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to lead Manchester United back to the top, despite their unquestionable improvement under him this season.

United head into tomorrow’s Manchester derby against City at Old Trafford with the knowledge that a win will lift them to within a point and place of their neighbours in the Premier League table.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 18 matches since being battered 6-3 by City back in October, featuring a current run of eight wins on the bounce.

The Reds, such is the level of progress they have made under Ten Hag this season, are now considered as one of the favourites to qualify for the Champions League for next season.

They have made significant strides in a relatively short space of time and victories over the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur already this season have proven that they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the table again.

However, despite heading into the second half of the campaign with form in their sails, Ferdinand insists the jury is still out on Ten Hag, despite him reaching 20 wins as United manager quick than any of his predecessors.

“I think it’s too early to say,” said Ferdinand to the Mirror. “We’ve been here with previous managers when it looks like we are onto something.

“We’ve got to be patient and give the man time. I think all the signs are very positive at the moment. He’s come in and seen what is happening, assessed how things are, looked at individuals and looked at the shape of the team.

“These were a bunch of players that were quite low. They were shot to pieces and he’s had to build, not only footballers, but men back up again. He’s had to build a lot of human beings back up and that takes time.

“The fact he’s now talking about qualifying for the Champions League so positively, he can sense a confidence coming back into this team. There’s a consistency of performance from the team that wasn’t there before and the signals and signs are all very promising.

“But they’re still not where they want to be. City are way ahead of where United are. The distance is a bit closer, but it’s still not anywhere near where we want it to be. There’s still work to be done.”

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Manchester United takeover bids ‘expected imminently’ with serious interest in Club

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Manchester United are expecting takeover offers from across the world as they are set to invite bids ahead of ‘mid-February deadline’.

The Telegraph have reported that the club have received ‘serious interest’ from consortiums based in the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe is also weighing up an offer, as the Glazers hope to the sell one of the biggest clubs in the world for over £5billion.

The report also adds that parties who had been interested in taking over Chelsea, before Todd Boehly’s £4.25bn takeover, are set to return with approaches for the Red Devils.

It’s expected that potential investors will go public with their attempts to buy United in the coming weeks with the clock ‘now ticking on a deal’.

Senior United figures will issue a mid February deadline for formal offers in order to help get get the takeover completed before the end of the season.

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Confirmed: Chelsea ready to make late bid to hijack another Arsenal transfer

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Chelsea will make a late attempt to scupper Arsenal’s hopes of finally signing Mikhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Gunners have submitted their third bid for the Ukraine international winger and hope an offer of £62m before add-ons, which take the deal closer to £70m, will be enough to break the deadlock between the two clubs.

Chelsea’s interest in the 21-year-old winger was earlier this week described only as ‘exploratory’ but ESPN now claim that Todd Boehly will test the waters and attempt to throw a spanner in the works for the Premier League leaders.

Shakhtar’s technical director Darijo Srna was pictured at Stamford Bridge last week as he watched Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester City and Boehly would have little issue with meeting an asking price which is closer to £88million.

Arsenal are said to be confident that their latest bid for Mudryk will be enough to finally secure the services of their No.1 January target, but have already been beaten to the punch once this month by their west London rivals.

Chelsea won the race to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid amid competition from Arsenal and Manchester United, but the Portugal international’s promising debut ended in devastating fashion when he was sent off just shy of the hour mark for a dangerous challenge on Fulham’s Kenny Tete.

Felix will now miss the next three games through suspension as the problems mount for Chelsea’s under-fire manager Graham Potter.

‘It sums up where we are at the moment – everything that can go wrong, is going wrong,’ Potter said after Chelsea’s 2-1 west London derby defeat.

‘It was a forward’s tackle from Joao, there was no malice in it but I understand why it was a red. It is another blow the hits keep coming at the moment.

‘He was really good you could see his quality in the game so it is doubly disappointing for us because he was looking dangerous throughout.

‘I don’t think there was too much malice in it and it is an unfortunate action and we are going to lose him now for three games.’

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