Jadon Sancho’s return to Borussia Dortmund started superbly as the on-loan Manchester United winger sent a resounding message to former manager Erik ten Hag with an assist only 22 minutes into his return for the Bundesliga side.
Sancho was introduced as a substitute 10 minutes into the second half to replace Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and waste little time in setting up Marco Reus to put BVB 2-0 up on Darmstadt. They would ultimately go on to win 3-0.
The England winger made a well-timed run down the right channel before simply squaring a pass along the six-yard box for the Germany international to tap home and secure the points for Eden Terzic’s side.
It was Sancho’s first football since August, having been frozen out of the Manchester United team by Ten Hag following the Dutchman’s criticism of him after he was dropped for a trip to Arsenal.
It took 22 minutes for Sancho to make the difference for Dortmundpic.twitter.com/lwze1Be7d6
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) January 13, 2024
The 23-year-old claimed in a social media post that he was being made a scapegoat for his team’s problems, and while the post was ultimately deleted, his refusal to apologise to Ten Hag saw him cast aside by the Old Trafford club, not even allowed to train with the first team.
Sancho has been forced to wait in the shadows and showed on his return to Dortmund that he has a point to prove to those back at Old Trafford.
Criticised for his work ethic while with United, Sancho showed a strong appetite to track back and work hard defensively.
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It was a performance that raises questions over Ten Hag’s man management of the player, particularly after the former Ajax boss backed Antony, who has not had a goal or an assist in any competitive match this season,
Meanwhile, Dortmund denied any discipline problems from the player during his previous stint.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans Joachim Watzke told Sky Deutschland: “Jadon Sancho has no discipline problem at all. I have no idea who invented that story.”