The £135m mighty signing Man Utd will replace Jadon Sancho with - according to Football Manager 2023
Who could replace Jadon Sancho if his dispute with Erik ten Hag leads to his departure from Manchester United?
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The future of Jadon Sancho remains clouded in doubt as the Manchester United winger sits on the sidelines following a dispute with manager Erik ten Hag.
“On his performance on training, we didn’t select him,” Ten Hag said when asked about Sancho’s absence from the squad after the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal.
“You have to reach the level every day at Manchester United. You can make choices in the front line so in this game he wasn’t selected.”
Following Ten Hag’s comments, Sancho issued a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter (and, let’s face it, probably will always be) saying: “Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that is completely untrue. I have conducted myself in training very well this week.
“I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t get into. I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair! All I want to do is to play football with a smile on my face and contribute to my team.”
With neither side showing signs of backing down, an departure from Old Trafford seems inevitable for Sancho and there has been some talk of a possible loan move to clubs in La Liga or across the Premier League.
But who could replace the winger at United? We fired up our dear our friend Football Manager 2023 to see where the virtual Ten Hag could turn and how one Bundesliga star would fare if he became the Red Devils’ latest big money addition.
The new man arrives
After making unsuccessful moves for a number of wingers around Europe, Ten Hag finally replaced a former Manchester City academy star that was signed from a Bundesliga club by signing a former Manchester City academy star from a Bundesliga club.
A £135m deal saw Jamal Musiala saw life with Bayern Munich for the challenge of shining at Old Trafford - and the Germany star made a promising start to life in the Premier League by scoring three goals in his first three appearances as United took maximum points from home games with Fulham and Spurs and an away day at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
However, his form would come crashing down when he received a straight red card in a 1-1 draw at West Ham United and he missed defeats against Brentford and Everton, as well as a draw at local rivals Manchester City.
Back from suspension and back in the goals!
Musiala’s return to contention brought a change in system from Ten Hag as the former Bayern Munich star was handed a place on the left-hand side of a three-pronged attack, with Marcus Rashford taking the lead role as a main striker.
Both players netted in a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa before adding to their tallies in a 3-2 defeat at Chelsea. That left United sat in mid-table in the Premier League but there would soon be a major upturn in form with six consecutive wins, with the high point coming as a Rashford hat-trick and a goal apiece from Bruno Fernandes and Musiala gave Ten Hag’s men a 5-2 win at Liverpool and ended some short-lived speculation about the future of the former Ajax manager.
Top of the tree at Christmas
That improved form was brought to an abrupt end by a 4-0 defeat at Newcastle United in early December but things got firmly back on track as Musiala netted the only goal in a 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace that sparked a six-game unbeaten run.
That took United to the top of the table at Christmas and they remained at the summit with wins against Forest and Bournemouth in the first week of the new year. An injury suffered in the latter of those wins kept Musiala out of action until mid-February and that had a detrimental impact on his side’s form as they crashed out of the Carabao Cup with a semi-final defeat against Brighton and the FA Cup after Manchester City claimed a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
A return to form on all accounts - but there will be no silverware!
Musiala was back in the side for a 1-1 draw against Arsenal and he continued to provide assists throughout what would be a crucial part of the season. Despite gaining revenge for their Carabao Cup defeat against Brighton with a 3-0 win at the Amex Stadium, United struggled to find consistency in the closing weeks on the season and their hopes of securing a top four spot were ended by defeats at Fulham and Forest.
A 2-0 win against Brentford - a game where Musiala rounded off his season with his 10th goal of the campaign - ensured United will play European football in his second season at Old Trafford - but it will be in the Europa League after they claimed sixth place in the Premier League.