Erik ten Hag adamant nothing has changed for Jadon Sancho

Erik ten Hag has asserted that doubts about Jadon Sancho’s ability were never a factor in the decision to allow his exit from Manchester United – a decision that has now come under renewed scrutiny.

Sancho returned to his former club Borussia Dortmund on loan in January, following a contentious fallout with Ten Hag. And, despite the discord, Sancho has regained his form in Germany, helping Dortmund recently secure a spot in the Champions League semi-finals.

Amid a challenging second half of the season for United, Ten Hag has been criticised for allowing Sancho leave Old Trafford. However, the Dutchman is adamant a mistake was not made, reinforcing that the winger’s footballing talent was not the determining factor in his exit.

Speaking ahead of United’s FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City, Ten Hag stated, “We know he [Sancho] is a fantastic player. That is not a surprise. That is not the issue.

“It was a fantastic game – Dortmund against Atletico Madrid. Great performance from Dortmund and for Jadon it’s good news, he made his contribution to the result for Dortmund.

“Of course, I follow international football and follow the players on loan at other clubs.”

Sancho’s long-term future at United is not the only talking point at Old Trafford, with rumours also engulfing Brazilian midfielder Casemiro.

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The 32-year-old has been struggling with persistent hamstring injuries, hampering his ability to perform in midfield. Indeed, Casemiro’s performance levels this season have been widely criticised, and links with a move to Saudi Pro League continue to bubble away.

But Ten Hag defended Casemiro to reporters, explaining how much of an impact he made in his debut season at the club.

“I think we needed the six when I arrived here and last season Casemiro was fantastic,” Ten Hag said. “I don’t think he ever scored so many goals as well but as a six, a holding midfielder, a strategist, he was so important for the team.

“This season, he struggled with a bad injury he never had in his career. But I know he is such a winner – see his career. All his career, he always won. Everywhere where he was there will be success and I trust he will give us also the success and I know he will need games, he will be better and I’m very confident about him.

“He is a fighter, that is why he also won big trophies, he’s a big personality, he’s a very important player and he will give us success.”

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