Jadon Sancho starred for England in their 5-0 thumping of Andorra and has presented Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a fresh problem.
The 21-year-old starlet assisted two of the Three Lions’ goals as they went one step closer to qualifying for next year’s World Cup.
Sancho collected Phil Foden’s dinked pass and unselfishly teed up Ben Chilwell to open the scoring for Gareth Southgate’s side on 17 minutes.
The new Red Devils signing’s inviting cross allowed Tammy Abraham to tap home in the second half.
Further goals by Bukayo Saka, James Ward-Prowse and Jack Grealish moved England four points clear in World Cup qualifying Group I.
“It was not easy for a winger in the game because quite often you are receiving the ball with two, sometimes three, defenders really close,” Southgate said of Sancho’s performance.
“So you’ve got to pick the right moment to set the ball off and the right moments to back yourself to maybe take one or two of those players out and I thought he did that exceptionally well a couple of times.
“It is important that he got the assist because you’ve also got to have that productivity and the right pass or the right cross at the end of those passages of play.”
Sancho’s impressive performance will be a slight concern for Solskjaer as the Norwegian attempts to fit each of his attacking talents into his Man Utd line-up. The former Borussia Dortmund winger was signed to play on the right of the attack.
However, against Andorra – his best display of the campaign so far – Sancho largely operated on the left. He seemed far more comfortable moving inside and that was evidenced by his run into the penalty area to set up Chilwell.
The ex-Manchester City forward has played on the left wing for United but faces several strong competition for that spot at Old Trafford. He might instead end up playing more matches on the right.
United still have Marcus Rashford to come back from injury, with Sancho’s England team-mate missing the start of the season with a back problem. Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and even Mason Greenwood can play in a left-wing role.
Sancho has struggled to fit seamlessly back into life in the Premier League. He has failed to register a goal or an assist in nine appearances across all competitions.
Southgate even sensationally claimed that his form was not enough to earn a call-up to the England squad, instead insisting that Sancho was including in the group for September’s internationals because of how much time they have invested in his development.
Those quotes came just after Sancho’s best performance in a United shirt. He helped United to an incredible victory over Villarreal in the Champions League, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring an added-time winner.
“Was that interview done before Wednesday night (Villarreal game)?” Solskjaer hit back at the England head coach last week.
“Jadon was exceptional, he was electric. The crowd loved him and I think he felt that connection.
“He was direct, positive, he went past the full-back numerous times. Yes, he’s not scored yet but I thought: ‘that’s Jadon and we’re going to see lots of that’.
“Gareth has also said it’s important that Jadon knows (England) believe in him and are invested in him.”