Rio Ferdinand has expressed his concerns about Erik ten Hag’s handling of Jadon Sancho, suggesting that the Manchester United manager may have “embarrassed” the winger without fully understanding the risks involved.
Sancho is currently training separately from the first team following a public disagreement with Ten Hag over his training levels.
Ten Hag openly expressed his dissatisfaction with Sancho after United’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal, during which the winger did not travel with the squad to North London.
It remains uncertain when Sancho, who later deleted his response to Ten Hag, will return to first-team training, leaving Ferdinand worried that there may be no way back for the 23-year-old, who joined United for £73 million from Borussia Dortmund in 2021.
Ferdinand discussed the situation on Vibe with Five, saying, “To be thrown out of the squad, what’s going on? Is it a personal issue between the manager and the player? Or is he genuinely not training the way the manager wants him to?”
“It’s like the manager has tried every possible avenue to get the best out of Jadon Sancho. I believe Jadon would admit that he hasn’t lived up to the hype and the price tag yet.”
“The manager may have thought, ‘This is my last chance. I can’t get anything more out of him, so I’ll make it public and see if public embarrassment and his pride will push him to say, ‘I’m not accepting this,’ and ‘I’ll come back with a performance.'”
“He did it with Rashford. Rashford was the talisman at the time, the source of our goals, on fire, at the top of his game. The manager benched him for being late to a meeting, something many would consider minor. In terms of ego and pride, adding more pressure, you’d think, ‘Wait a minute, I’m the man here.’ The noise would have been deafening after that game [if United had lost], but it worked out.”
“I just think there have been players who were publicly questioned or dealt with subtly – like Wan-Bissaka, who has made a remarkable comeback from being almost forgotten. I think the manager’s decision to go public with Jadon was a significant one, and I wonder if the manager truly understood the risks involved.”