Erik ten Hag and Jadon Sancho ‘showdown talks’ at Manchester United might spring a surprise – Steven Railston

Jadon Sancho was absent from the defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates, which means his break has been longer than most players&apos time off, but it would have felt even longer after he called out Erik ten Hag online.

Ten Hag, speaking after the loss to Arsenal, said Sancho had been dropped from the squad because of his unsatisfactory training displays and the player disputed that by writing &aposdon&apost believe everything you read&apos in an extraordinary response.

There have been nine days since Sancho sent that social media post, which remains pinned at the top of his X account, but that period must have dragged on for the player considering his future at the club is now uncertain.

Although Ten Hag intended to provoke a response from Sancho on the training pitch with his comment, it provoked an inadvisable public outburst and there are bound to be consequences for the player.

What those consequences are remains to be seen. Ten Hag is known to be a disciplinarian and the overwhelming majority of the dressing room has reacted positively to that approach, hence the improved performances last season.

Ten Hag and Sancho are believed to have held talks at Carrington on Monday upon the return of the non-internationals after the break and while the outcome of that meeting is yet to be revealed, the outcome might not be what&aposs expected.

Some have suggested that it&aposs possible Sancho has played his last game for the club, but at the time of writing, that seems highly unlikely following the decision to delay Antony&aposs return to training until further notice.

In October, Ten Hag imposed a one-game suspension on Cristiano Ronaldo for dramatically refusing to come on as a substitute and walking down the tunnel against Tottenham, and a similar punishment feels appropriate for Sancho.

“He [Ronaldo] has to be aware that you always get [judged] by the moment and how you are acting today. Especially in top sport, it is about today. It is not about age or reputation,” said Ten Hag about that situation.

“When you are in top sport you get judged by the moment and how you act. We have to be aware of that everyone, not only Cristiano, as a team, as a manager and as a club. He has to live as anyone else along certain standards we set.”

There will be repercussions for Sancho, but the extent of their severity will be decided by how remorseful and willing the player is to accept responsibility, and how disrespected Ten Hag feels after being publicly spoken out against.

Over a week since it was sent, the post is still pinned at the top of his social media account and something is clearly going to have to give, meaning that if Sancho wants to wear a red shirt again, it seems he&aposll have to delete it.

The post remaining on his page would be a constant reminder of player undermining manager. You can&apost go forward like that and it would be a surprise if the statement wasn&apost brought down before the Brighton game this weekend.

It&aposs also obvious there&aposs an added incentive for both Ten Hag and Sancho to have successful peace talks because of Antony&aposs indefinite unavailability, which would leave Facundo Pellistri as the only natural option on the right wing, with Amad a long-term absentee due to injury.

Pellistri has made just 12 appearances for United and that includes a single start in a meaningless game against Real Betis in the second leg of the Europa League Round of 16 when the tie had already been won.

Amad&aposs return is not imminent and even if it was, he&aposs unproven in the Premier League, despite showing potential in the Championship.