The summer transfer window has now opened and it is reported that Manchester United have made their first move to Jadon Sancho.
The 21-year-old Sancho is currently in the squad of the English national team ahead of the Euro 2020, after a great season at Borussia Dortmund in which the winger scored eight goals and provided eleven assists in 26 Bundesliga games.
A report by BILD on Thursday claimed United had made their first official offer to sign Sancho, despite reports reportedly rejected by Dortmund.
United sources remain closed on the suspicion that a deal is getting “closer”, although they believe a possible deal is more likely this summer than it was a year ago.
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With speculation on Sancho and Manchester United growing, how big could Sancho be at United if the winger signed for the club this summer?
To find out and have some fun, we used Football Manager 2021 to simulate the future and see what could happen.
We “signed” Jadon Sancho for Man United in the summer of 2021.
To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to arrange for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho to join Man United on July 1, 2021 to run our simulation with FM21.
Football Manager (FM) is the world’s leading football management simulation title. The latest edition of the game, FM21, is now available for PC, Mac, Mobile, Touch, and Xbox.
On the subject of matching items
On the subject of matching items
The Football Manager database currently contains information on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs.
The data comes from their international local scouting network, which includes around 1,000 people, including some who are professionally involved in football, including scouts and coaches.
This is what Sancho’s profile on FM21 will look like in the game from July 2021.
In addition to Sancho, a transfer we manually added, United also signed midfielder Nicolo Barella from Inter in a summer that was great in terms of transfer performance, but only two players were brought in overall.
With Sancho on United’s squad next season, that’s exactly what happened!
Jadon Sancho’s 2021/22 season for United
Sancho was an integral part of the Manchester United team in the 2021/22 season and played in a 4-2-3-1 formation in most of his right-wing appearances, although he also made some appearances on the left side as well.
The 21-year-old had an impressive first season at United and showed his outstanding creative quality.
In 52 appearances in all competitions, Sancho recorded 24 assists and scored nine goals.
That included six goals and 17 assists in 35 Premier League games, with three goals and 5 assists in just nine Champions League games for the Reds.
His creative output was off the charts, with the winger recording more assists than any other United player in 2021/22, more than Bruno Fernandes, Nicolo Barella, Paul Pogba etc.
And Sancho also landed at the top of the Premier League assists chart, with the winger adding five more assists than second-best creators Dele Alli and teammate Barella.
At the end of the 2021/22 season, Football Manager 2021 put together the best overall United XI based on performance, statistics and other metrics.
According to FM21, this is what the best United XI 2021/22 looked like.
Full United best XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Pogba, Barella; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Warlike.
How did United fare in all competitions in our simulated season with Sancho in the squad?
United’s 2021/22 season with Sancho
This is what the final PL table for 2021/22 looked like after our simulation was completed at the end of May 2022.
Manchester United had a decent campaign, finishing second, collecting 81 points in 38 games, eight points behind Manchester City, which eventually won the league title.
The big difference between United and City was their defense record, with City conceding just 26 while United conceded 35.
But Solskjaer’s team also lacked a clinical qualification, as after Cavani left Rashford became the club’s top scorer with just 21 in all competitions, including 14 in the Premier League.
United has only lost five games in the entire season, for comparison: United has lost four games in 31 games so far this season.
And United also won an important trophy when Barella, Rashford and Donny van de Beek scored in their 3-0 win over Tottenham in the FA Cup final.
In the Champions League, United reached the quarter-finals, but ultimately lost to Bayern Munich 5-2 in the overall standings.
Football Manager 2021 predicts that Sancho would be a great addition to Manchester United next season, providing a great creative and scoring outlet from the right side of the attack that United has been missing for years.
With Sancho on the right, Fernandes in the middle and Rashford on the left, with Pogba and Barella / McTominay / Fred behind them, United would have one of the most exciting midfield lineups in the Premier League.
However, that simulation also suggests that even with Sancho, a Premier League title may not be within reach if United don’t step up their defenses and sign a thoroughbred striker this summer.
As always, these simulations are just one way of predicting a player’s likely impact, but it’s interesting to see how FM21 predicts the future when Sancho signs for United in July 2021.
Would you be happy if Manchester United join Jadon Sancho this summer? Let us know in the comments.