Man Utd star told Ten Hag he’d ‘bought the wrong player’ after Premier League match

Joe Williams
Man Utd duo Jadon Sancho and Erik ten Hag
Jadon Sancho and Erik ten Hag speak during a match.

Man Utd outcast Jadon Sancho told Erik ten Hag that he had “bought the wrong player” during a row over his place in the starting XI, according to reports.

The England international came off the bench in the Red Devils’ first three Premier League matches of last season before being dropped from the squad entirely for the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in September.

Ten Hag revealed to journalists after the match that Sancho had been omitted from the Man Utd squad over poor performances in training.

Sancho strongly denied those claims and hit back on social media by claiming that he’d been made out to be a “scapegoat” for their poor start to the new campaign.

He eventually deleted the post online but refused to apologise to Ten Hag or his coaches over the incident and the Man Utd boss eventually exiled the winger from the club’s first-team facilities.

Sancho was given a lifeline by Borussia Dortmund in the January transfer window with the 24-year-old impressing in his loan appearances, helping the Germans reach the Champions League final.

And The Athletic have detailed ‘player and staff tensions, football principles and what’s next’ for Ten Hag’s Man Utd after their decision to keep him on as manager.

Included in their report, The Athletic have pinpointed the moment that Sancho really ‘stretched’ Ten Hag’s patience before their eventual fall-out, which led to his banishment.

The report revealed:

‘In that proxy war, Jadon Sancho took the public route. Ten Hag’s disappointment with Sancho over his application came to a head during a training session before the Arsenal game in September. Sancho did not commit to pressing as an “opposition” player in the practice match in the way Ten Hag wanted.

‘Sancho was offered the chance to end his involvement early, which he took by walking off the pitch. Ten Hag referenced Sancho’s training levels after the Arsenal defeat and the player responded with his infamous social media post, accusing him of double standards and effectively calling his manager a liar.

‘Ten Hag attempted to explain his point to Sancho in one meeting at Carrington and attempted to schedule another summit a few days later in which it was expected Sancho would apologise privately, face-to-face. But this did not happen.’

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The Athletic added:

‘Ten Hag exiled Sancho in response. He felt Sancho was an incredible player but that his attitude did not correspond to a winning culture.

‘His patience had been stretched months earlier after his second game in charge, away to Brentford, when Sancho told him United had bought the wrong player because his preference was to play on the left, rather than the right. This guided Ten Hag’s decision to go for a player in that position in the remaining days of the transfer market — ultimately, Antony.

‘The sight of Sancho performing well on the right wing in Borussia Dortmund’s run to the Champions League final was not lost on people at United. Sancho was known to be a free spirit on the pitch and around the training ground — a “cheeky chap” according to one person with knowledge of the environment — albeit capable of poor timekeeping and unsatisfactory responses to instructions on what to do in possession and on transition.’