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Ben Thornley: Sancho improves Man Utd tenfold; Chong loan; De Ligt not worth it

I've been really excited when I've seen Jadon Sancho playing for Borussia Dortmund and England, and I feel he's an integral player for both. And we are certainly hoping that Manchester City's loss can be Manchester United's gain in the near future.

Sancho is a hungry player, not somebody who shies away from the spotlight. He gets on the ball and can do it in a number of areas, which is always a plus when you're going into any footballing side.

You look at what you've got around you, if he's better than what you've already got, and I can say, having watched him play, I feel as though he would complement what United have already got tenfold. He can play on the flank or number ten, or even as a false nine.

He's a tremendous player, I love how how he likes to pick the ball up from deep to come and grab the game by the scruff of the neck, he has that ability to drive at defences.

I think he would be a huge acquisition from Manchester United, not just for the quality that he can bring, but also for the longevity, he's only a young lad and he could benefit Manchester United for years and years to come.



But where does Sancho's potential arrival leave Tahith Chong?

It would be a tricky one for Tahith Chong, but I feel as though Jadon Sancho is ahead of him because of the football he has played at the top level over the past 18 months.

I've watched Tahith many times for the U23s and there's no question he's absolutely head and shoulders above when he plays in that environment. I think what he needs to learn, which is what Sancho already has, is what it takes both physically and mentally to play in and around the top level.

He has had opportunities this season, but he hasn't performed how I would have expected him to perform. Having said that, I know what sort of a transition it takes from playing what is basically reserve team football to going and playing at the top level. And it isn't just physical, it is mental as well. There is a hell of a lot of pressure heaped on your shoulders when you play for Manchester United, the expectations are massively high, and none more so than at a moment when United have been a bit sparse when it comes to winning trophies.

I think a loan move for Tahith is definitely an option should Jadon Sancho come in. It would have to be a chat between the manager and player to decide what they thinks is going to be the best for his growth.

Maybe a six or 12 month loan either in the Premier League or the high echelons of the Championship would improve his stature as a player and give him the confidence to come back to Manchester United, as it has done with Axel Tuanzebe, who I know has been very unlucky with injuries since he came back, but the loan spell he had at Aston Villa when they got promoted has undoubtedly made him a serious contender to challenge Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, and I felt he would've done just that had he not endured an injury riddled season.

That could work just as well for Tahith Chong, going out getting games under his belt and getting the confidence, because you need a certain amount of swagger and faith in your ability to play for Manchester United, if you don't believe in yourself you can't expect your teammates and and your manager to believe in you, so I think a loan is definitely a possibility.



No point in signing De Ligt

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has alternated this season between a back-four and a back three. And with the emergence of Brandon Williams and emergence of this coming season of another lad that I've seen a lot this season in the U23s in Ethan Laird, it allows Luke Shaw, who I think has been one of our better performers this season, to move from his normal left-back berth into a left-side centre-half where I think he has played extremely well.

Now when you've got the likes of Lindelof and Maguire, Wan-Bissaka on one side and Brandon Williams or Luke Shaw on the other, and let's not forget Eric Bailly, who I know he can be a bit rash at times, but has room for improvement he stops overplaying the ball, you've got more than options in defence.

I'm not sure that the money Juventus would want for for Matthijs de Ligt is worth it. I know he was touted around everywhere and ended up going to Juve, but he has not had the season that he probably thought he was going to have, and I think Juve will probably want to recoup the €70m they paid for him.I feel as though with that money, with how our defence is performing, it could be better spent elsewhere.

Ben Thornley
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Ben Thornley

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