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Erik ten Hag updates on Jadon Sancho, unsure when he will return

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said that he is unsure when Jadon Sancho will return to first-team action for the club.

Sancho has been on an individual training programme in the Netherlands and this was the reason behind his absence for the winter camp in Spain.

The England star continues to work away from the first-team squad and speaking to BBC Sport, Ten Hag said that he has no idea over his comeback date.

The Dutch tactician added that Sancho is currently on a physical programme and the onus is on getting him back to full fitness for the second part of the season.

Ten Hag didn’t give a prognosis on when that could happen but concluded that the €60 million-rated star needs to improve mentally as well to get back to his best.

He said: “Sometimes there are circumstances with fitness and mood. He was not in the right status or fitness state. I have had several talks with Jadon. He’s on a physical programme and our aim is to get him back as quickly as possible, but I can’t give a prognosis of when that will be.”

“When the league started he played some good games, but after we got a drop of levels. Sometimes you don’t know why or what is causing it. Most of the time it comes slowly. First you observe but the stats back it up.

“In the start of the season he had goals and assists but his key moments and key actions became less and less. It’s a combination of physical but also mental. We’re trying to research and get him back.”

Sancho has plenty to prove on his comeback

Sancho started the season brilliantly for United after a positive pre-season. He scored three goals before the September international break including a winning strike against Leicester City.

However, he suffered a significant dip in form on his return. He was taken off early in a couple of games before being an unused substitute against West Ham United and Sheriff Tiraspol.

This was followed by a four-game absence where he was deemed ill. This proved a blessing in disguise for club graduate Alejandro Garnacho, who took his opportunity with both hands.

Garnacho is now clearly ahead of Sancho in the pecking order for a starting position and the onus is now on Sancho to prove his fitness and perform at a higher level on his comeback.

From Ten Hag’s update, it is clear that he won’t be available when the season restarts this month. Hopefully, Sancho will return in a matter of weeks as he has plenty to prove at United.

One thing is for sure that Sancho will need to win back the manager’s confidence. At the moment, Marcus Rashford, Antony, Garnacho and Anthony Elanga are being preferred over him out wide.

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