Manchester United have not had the quiet international break Erik ten Hag might have been hoping for with two ousted internationals taking up his attention. Donny van de Beek has been unable to secure a proposed move away from Old Trafford this summer and the one remaining escape route for the former Ajax protg is the Turkish market. That transfer window remains open until September 15.
Van de Beek was omitted from the 25-man Champions League squad chosen by Ten Hag this week, while one player who did survive the cut has since left him with an important decision to make. But what will happen to Jadon Sancho following that exchange with his manager that was played out in public through media channels?
Perhaps, there is no short answer to that, but Sancho will definitely not be following the other man who dared to cross Ten Hag – Cristiano Ronaldo – after the lucrative Saudi Arabia market closed on Thursday night. Despite a few late murmurings, the numbers did not add up even for a loan switch.
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Assuming he stays, things will evidently need to be worked out behind the scenes, should he go elsewhere, either now or on January, United will need a replacement. They might even have an in-house solution.
Before sanctioning a move for Sancho when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was manager, United did business with Atalanta for Amad Diallo to address long-standing concerns on their right-hand side. Other deals have been struck in that same position since then – for big money – but the door is now ajar for Amad.
“I hope Amad will bring personality to the team when he gets back to Old Trafford and he will find his niche in that group,” declared Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray during Amad&aposs impressive loan spell at the club last season. “If not, Sunderland are always welcome to have him back because he&aposs been amazing for us!”
That last sentence might have been a little tongue-in-cheek given what happened on the pitch in front of his own eyes. Put simply, Amad tore up the Championship, with 13 goals and three assists in 37 appearances last term, while operating in the No.10 role and right flank United initially signed him for.
“It&aposs not enough to be a footballer, added Mowbray. “You have to have character, personality, resilience to bounce back from bad days, be brave. If you&aposre a top footballer, though, you have to be comfortable with the ball, take it in tight areas and Amad can undoubtedly do that.
“If he&aposs got the right personality, only time will tell when he&aposs among the star players at United. At this level, Amad&aposs a maestro with the ball. If feels for me, at United, he would integrate with high-quality footballers.”
United have one to find out if that really is the case. When he eventually returns from injury, the young Ivorian must come into consideration, if nothing else but to justify or discredit the 37million outlay on him.