Ralf Rangnick has hailed Jadon Sancho for overcoming his tricky start to life at Manchester United, insisting the young winger looks as good as he did at Borussia Dortmund.
A £73m signing in the summer, huge things were expected of Sancho after his four years in Dortmund yielded 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 games, but that form did not initially carry over in England as Sancho managed just one league goal and no assists in his first 18 games.
Fortunately for the 21-year-old, his form has improved massively in recent weeks. Two goals and three assists in six games have helped United keep themselves in the race for Champions League football, and Rangnick admitted it's an exciting time to be working with Sancho.
"He is now recognisable 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.”
Rangnick is delighted to see Sancho step up and raise his level, but the boss also stressed that no less should be asked of the winger.
“This is what he should be,” added Rangnick. “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.”
Source : 90min