With the signing of Jadon Sancho, Manchester United have finally bought a starting player for the right wing.
Although Academy prodigy Mason Greenwood has been impressive at times there, the general consensus has been that he shouldn’t be relied on as much, at such a young age, and also, his best position may, in future, be as a number nine.
But is Sancho really at his best on the right?
Last season, Sancho played slightly more minutes on the left side of attack. On that side, he arguably, can cut inside and pick out creative passes easier.
He also is perhaps more of a shooting threat coming off the left onto his stronger right foot.
However, the stats show that, on the right side, he performed more ‘carries/dribbles’ and interestingly, he received the ball inside the opposition box more often from the right-wing position.
For United, this bodes well. Sancho will likely benefit from Luke Shaw’s attacking threat by either linking up with him directly on the left or by arriving into the box from the right onto Shaw’s crosses.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown that he likes his attacking players to rotate positions in games, and Sancho is more than capable of playing across the three positions behind the centre-forward.
For many United fans, having a winger with quick feet and the ability to go past the full-back is important.
Since the days of Sir Matt Busby, United have prided themselves on having exciting wingers, from the likes of George Best to Steve Coppell to Ryan Giggs and Ronaldo. But that has been missing on the right in recent years.
With Sancho, they certainly have a top candidate for the role, someone who will try to take on the defender.
In Europe’s top 5 leagues, Sancho finished the season with 16 nutmegs. Rashford, his now United teammate, finished top of that stat table with 21. Training will be fun.
Although Sancho isn’t as explosive in getting past players as someone like Wolves’ Adama Traore, he is equally as capable of picking an incisive pass as he is at beating the defender with a dribble.
Last season, he attempted the most dribbles (4) per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga but also topped the assist charts, creating 0.48 assists on average per 90 minutes.
United have certainly not had good fortune with signings from the Bundesliga in recent years. Both Henrik Mkhytarian and Shinji Kagawa arrived from Borussia Dortmund and failed to replicate their German league form.
However, Sancho has youth on his side at 21 and also, having spent two years in Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad, in his teens, will be used to the culture.
All stats provided by The Athletic and FBREF.