Manchester United's Jadon Sancho. Alamy Stock Photo

Ten Hag: 'Fitness and mood' have kept Sancho out of United team

Sancho has been working on his own fitness programme during the World Cup break with a coach in the Netherlands.

ERIK TEN HAG does not know when Jadon Sancho will return to action with Manchester United.

The 22-year-old started the season well with three goals before the international break in September, but has not played since United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea on 22 October.

Ten Hag said he had seen a notable dip in Sancho’s confidence after he was left out of the England squad for the Nations League matches in September.

“Sometimes there are circumstances with fitness and mood,” Ten Hag told reporters. “He was not in the right status or fitness state.”

Sancho scored three times in his first eight appearances of the season, but missed the final four games before the World Cup break and did not join United on their recent two-match tour of Spain.

Ten Hag said Sancho has been working on his own fitness programme, using a coach in the Netherlands who has previously worked with the United boss.

“I have had several talks with Jadon,” said Ten Hag.

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.”

Sancho joined United from Borussia Dortmund for £73million in 2021, but has not been able to replicate his goal-scoring form for the Bundesliga club in England so far.

“When the league started he played some good games, but after we got a drop of levels,” said Ten Hag. “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.” 

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