Jadon Sancho finally completed a long-awaited deal to Manchester United in June 2021. The red half of Manchester had been chasing for his signature for over a year. Borussia Dortmund demanded €120m last year for the 21-year-old but Manchester United was able to secure his services for just €85m this year with another €10m in add-ons. Even if all add-ons will be paid, United would still save €25m by waiting a year. United fans were left furious last year when a deal couldn’t be finalised but looking at the money they’ve saved this year, they’ll be thrilled. With Sancho in the team and the official announcement coming soon, we are going to see how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to deploy the young attacker.
The Most Obvious One
(RM in 4-2-3-1 or RW IN 4-3-3)
Ole has predominantly opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation during his tenure as the Man Utd manager. Last season, the RM (right-mid) position was one of the weakest spots in the team with no dedicated player that would fit the role. We saw Mason Greenwood perform really well in that position. Dan James was used as a back-up option to play on multiple occasions. Towards the end of the season, we saw Marcus Rashford play on the right flank as well. Despite his pace and technical abilities, he wasn’t at his best playing in that role. Sancho solves this problem as he is a natural right winger. Unlike inverted wingers, Sancho, a right-footed player prefers to play on the right side. This allows him to showcase his creative abilities by racking up assists while also being a goal threat. Last season, he provided 20 assists and scored 16 goals for Dortmund. With Bruno Fernandes at CAM, Cavani as the number 9, and Rashford and Sancho on the wings, Manchester United’s attack is going to be a deadly force. If a world-class CDM is signed, United could play a 4-3-3 which would maximise the threat of United’s attack with increased attacking responsibilities on wingers.
The practical one
(LM in 4-2-3-1)
Marcus Rashford admitted that he hasn’t played a game pain-free in the past two years due to prolonged injuries and knocks. He has been suffering from a shoulder injury since last November which will require him to undergo surgery. This will keep him away from the pitch for as long as three months. The absence of Marcus Rashford would open up the role of a wide player which Mason Greenwood would look to acquire. Ole could deploy Sancho as the left-midfielder replacing Rashford and Greenwood could play on the right-hand side. Having played a few games as LM for Dortmund, Sancho undoubtedly has the ability to perform well in that position. Greenwood showed sparks of excellence last season and could challenge to be the player for that role. With Rashford side-lined, Sancho would be the first name on Ole’s list for a wide attacker. Thus, Sancho and Greenwood on the wings would be the most practical option due to Rashford’s absence.
The unlikely one
(Second ST in 3-4-1-2)
OGS has sometimes gone with a 3-4-1-2 formation when playing against strong teams such as Manchester City who tend to dominate the game. The formation allows Man Utd to get more players behind the ball making it difficult for the opponents to break them down. United could lineup with Shaw and Wan-Bissaka as the wing-backs, Pogba and Fred in midfield with Bruno at CAM and Sancho and Cavani as the strikers. Sancho could play as the second striker as his creativity would help Cavani score goals. Alternatively, Sancho could slot in at CAM with Bruno and Fred in midfield allowing Greenwood to play strike with Cavani. Although very unlikely, this setup could be great for United with the likes of Sancho and Bruno in midfield with Cavani and Greenwood up top.
The Dream Team
With Sancho’s signing complete, Man Utd is in pursuit of Raphael Varane. The world cup winner wants a move away from Real Madrid in search of a new challenge. He is interested in joining ‘The Red Devils’ and United fans are eagerly waiting for some good news. Also, youngster Eduardo Camavinga is heavily rumoured to be joining Manchester United from Rennes. Assuming both these signings go through successfully, this could be Manchester United’s lineup for next season. Many would bet on them winning the Premier League if they manage to secure these deals. It seems as though Ole has revolutionised this team after the downfall in the post-Fergie era. Things are starting to look good in the United camp. With two second-place finishes last season, Man Utd has a point to prove and they are doing business in the transfer market with the same attitude. Would they achieve a first-place finish or are we in for yet another trophyless season? We just cannot wait for the 2020-21 season to start!!!