When Jadon Sancho joined Manchester United, the possibilities for collaboration looked limitless.
Sancho and his close friend Marcus Rashford would undoubtedly get along? What about Sancho and Mason Greenwood, a remarkable youngster, or perhaps Amad?
The signing of Cristiano Ronaldo raised hopes of a spectacular partnership with Sancho, while Bruno Fernandes would undoubtedly spark alongside another top creative player?
All of these combos have a lot of potentials and will undoubtedly improve over time. But it was an unlikely player who teamed up with Sancho to deadly effect against Arsenal… Fred.
Sancho and Fred have teamed up.
Fred can be a tumultuous and controversial character. That was summed up by the awful way he hurt goalkeeper David de Gea for Arsenal’s contentious opening goal.
He also showed his bright side against Arsenal, assisting Sancho in turning the game into a 3-2 triumph.
Sancho took advantage of Fred’s rushing from midfield to join the assault. Fred has a lot of energy for tracking back and getting forward.
Sancho picked out Fred’s move from midfield for United’s first goal, and the Brazilian snuck in another pass for Bruno Fernandes to equalize and end his goal drought.
When Sancho produced a brilliantly weighted pass in between two Arsenal players for Fred’s incoming run in the second half, the pair tied it up. Fred was fouled by Martin Odegaard, and Cristiano Ronaldo landed the game-winning penalty.
The accolades went to Fernandes and Ronaldo, but the goals would not have been possible without Sancho and Fred’s hard work.
Sancho awaited Fred’s run for the third goal, as he was looking for the Brazilian. It was a clever piece of work that demonstrated the duo’s ability to repeat their achievement in the future.
Rangnick’s development potential
Ralf Rangnick desires a well-balanced team that engages in direct attacking play. United will need to be a cohesive one rather than a collection of individuals.
Seeing a midfielder and winger combining for such an impact, as Fred and Sancho did, and with such a positive impact on the outcome, is encouraging for the future.
Sancho, in particular, is a player who Rangnick admires, revealing that he tried to get him in the past and describing the winger as “phenomenal.”
He demonstrated against Arsenal how much fun he can be to play with, and Rangnick’s tutelage should help some of the aforementioned partnerships blossom and start to connect.