‘I think he’s fitter, he looks half a stone slimmer’: Paul Scholes hails Jadon Sancho’s turnaround at Manchester United after his ‘best game’ saw him score his first goal in Villarreal victory
Jadon Sancho has been praised by former Manchester United stars after finally breaking his goal drought in the Champions League win over Villarreal.
The forward who arrived from Borussia Dortmund for £73million in the summer finally scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win in Spain, firing an excellent strike in off the crossbar in the final minute to seal United’s place in the last-16 of the competition.
Sancho has struggled badly since his summer move but featured from the start under the caretaker charge of Michael Carrick, and according to former United midfielder Scholes looked fitter as well as looking the best player on the pitch.
Jadon Sancho celebrates his last minute goal for Manchester United at Villarreal
The forward’s strike sealed a 2-0 victory for United and earned his first goal for the club
‘He looked fitter than he has done. I was really pleased for him, he told BT Sport. ‘A really young player who’s had a difficult start. But I thought he was United’s best player tonight.
‘I think they need to use him more. Playing in this team is a little different, because he doesn’t have a flying full back like he did at Dortmund, which I think helps.
‘He wants to play further up. He’s such a clever footballer. I think he’s fitter. You just look at him, I think he looks half a stone slimmer.’
Scholes’ former Red Devils team-mate Rio Ferdinand was also left impressed by the England forward and insists his improvement comes from his team-mates now understanding more about his game.
Former United midfielder Paul Scholes hailed Sancho’s performance in the European clash
Sancho is congratulated on his performance by caretaker manager Michael Carrick afterwards
‘I also think it’s his team-mates and them understanding him’, he added. ‘Not many of his team-mates knew about him.
‘They expected him to be a flying winger who wants to go on the outside all the time. He’s more intricate, he wants to play one-twos and link things up. He’s a footballing winger.
Meanwhile Owen Hargreaves insisted Sancho’s performance reminded him more of the player at Borussia Dortmund that convinced United to sign the 21-year-old back in the summer.
‘Jadon probably had his best game in a United shirt. He looked like the player that could make the difference’, he said.
Sancho was a lively presence, with ex-United stars claiming he was their best player
The 2-0 win for United in Spain puts them in the last-16 of the Champions League
‘When we’ve seen him play for United this season, he hasn’t sprinted as much as he did when he was at Dortmund. Today, he looked fit and looked sharp. When he’s fit, you can see the impact he can have on a team.
‘Jadon was the best player on the pitch. Jadon looked like the Jadon that we saw at Borussia Dortmund at times, who can win a game.’
United were playing their first match since the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager which came following the disastrous 4-1 defeat by Watford in the Premier League last Saturday.
Despite a poor first half, United rallied late on after bringing on Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring 12 minutes from time before Sancho’s last minute effort.