Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has responded to Gareth Southgate’s comments regarding new Manchester United man Jadon Sancho, following his recent international call-up.
The 21-year-old has endured an underwhelming start to life at Old Trafford with neither an assist nor a goal to his name at present, having finally joined the club at the end of a long-running saga in a £72.9m deal from Borussia Dortmund over the summer.
The former Manchester City youngster has been afforded just a handful of starts, in truth, yet has failed to really showcase the electric form he produced consistently during his time in Germany, where he registered 54 goals and 67 assists in all competitions during his four-spell with Dortmund.
Despite his slow start to life in the Premier League, the fleet-footed winger has still been included in the Three Lions squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Hungary and Andorra, having been a part of the 26-man squad for Euro 2020, where he notably missed a spot-kick off the bench in the shootout defeat to Italy in the final.
With the October international break to begin next week, England boss Southgate admitted Sancho doesn’t ‘deserve’ an England call up amid his Manchester United struggles, yet has selected him regardless with the hope that he will blossom into a key player for his country in the coming years.
In response, United boss Solskjaer insisted that the summer signing produced arguably his best display for the club to date in the dramatic win over Villarreal on Wednesday night and that he will no doubt be ‘a top player’ in the years to come, for both club and country.
“Was that interview done before Wednesday night? Jadon was exceptional on Wednesday against Villarreal,” Solskjaer said ahead of United’s clash with Everton on Saturday.
“He was electric and the crowd loved him. I think he felt that connection with the crowd.
“That’s what we want from him – to be direct, positive, go past players numerous times.
“Yeah, he’s not scored yet, but that night I thought ‘yeah, that’s Jadon and we’re going to see loads of that’.
“Gareth also said it’s important Jadon knows they [England] believe in him. They’ve invested time in him.
“He will be a top player and performances are going to come. We’ve got players here he can learn from and help him adapt.
“You’ve got Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani to learn from, in terms of their professionalism and how they conduct themselves.
“He also has his team mates – Marcus [Rashford], Jesse [Lingard] and Luke [Shaw] from the national team, so he’ll come good, we’ve got absolutely no worries.”