90min
Jadon Sancho

Football Manager 2021 predicts how Jadon Sancho's first season at Man Utd will go

Robbie Copeland
Sancho is officially a Man Utd player
Sancho is officially a Man Utd player / Pool/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Jadon Sancho is officially a Manchester United player.

I repeat: Jadon Sancho is officially a Manchester United player.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made no secret of his long-running interest in the England winger, and negotiations with Borussia Dortmund have been going on for more than 18 months. They tried and failed to sign him a year ago, much to the hilarity of rival fans, but the deal is now finally done...and with a cool £30m discount to boot.

Whichever way you slice it, it's obviously a very good signing by United. This is someone who, at just 21, has 50 club goals under his belt, and has been one of the most creative players in the world for the past two seasons.

Oh My God Reaction GIF by The Office - Find & Share on GIPHY

Nothing is guaranteed in football, however, so to mark the occasion, we've gone and simulated a full season on the scarily true-to-life Football Manager 2021 video game to see how Sancho gets on at Old Trafford.

Let's take a look, shall we?


The move

At the time of writing, Sancho has been a United player for just three hours. So no, he doesn't play for United in the game.

Before we start, then, we've had to give the database a helping hand. Some tinkering in the editor, and hey presto, Sancho has moved from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United for £73m.

We didn't police the rest of United's transfer business, however, and that led to some other signings which were certainly...interesting.

A scattergun window saw the side splash out more than £100m on Flamengo's Gerson, Roma's Jordan Veretout, Lazio's Luis Felipe, Levante's David Okereke and Barça's Emerson.

And, for some reason, 30-year-old Guido Pizarro on a free transfer. Because you can't have too many centre-mids.

And this is how Sancho stacks up statistically.

4.5* potential, 18 for dribbling, 16 for pace and 16 for flair...wowee.


July-October

The crystal ball that is Football Manager predicts a mixed start to life at Old Trafford. Sancho converts a penalty in the Community Shield as United pip rivals City to the trophy, but he then draws a blank in a Premier League opening day defeat to Fulham, and fails to hit the net for five successive games.

Once he breaks the seal, however, the goals begin to flow.

Four goals in his next five games help United to a run of wins that establishes them as genuine title contenders. And while October sees the winning momentum brought to a halt by Man City and Barcelona, United win ten out of their first 13 games, and look in very good shape.


November-January

Fellow new signing Veretout then helps United to a vengeful victory over Barça at Old Trafford, but that's followed by defeats against Liverpool and Leicester that dent the Red Devils' title hopes.

Mixed fortunes follow for both Sancho and United - the winger only nets once between October and the end of January - but by the turn of the year, they are still in the hunt for all four major trophies.


January-May

And then it all falls apart.

The second half of the season yields some positives - an EFL Cup final win over Arsenal, with Sancho scoring a brace, promises a triumphant finish to the season.

But they are brought crashing back down to earth by Chelsea in the FA Cup, and defeats to Inter, Man City and Liverpool end their hopes of picking up a third trophy of the season.

It's Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford who do the heavy lifting as United get things back on track towards the end of the season, but it's too little, too late for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team.


Season review

The League Cup was as good as it got for United, but the 19 goals of Rashford carry them to a Champions League spot. They finish 12 points behind eventual champions Liverpool - who beat Man City to the title on goal difference.

And as for Sancho? Well, it wasn't the electric return to English football that many anticipated.

But 12 goals and eight assists in 50 appearances isn't the worst return for his first season in the Premier League.

Something to build on, anyway. Over to you, real life Sancho.

facebooktwitterreddit