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Erik ten Hag uncertain about Jadon Sancho’s return

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is uncertain when Jadon Sancho will return to action.

The English winger has been training individually in the Netherlands in a fitness programme recommended by Ten Hag.

The 22-year-old was one of the top performers for the Red Devils at the start of this season, producing impressive displays against Liverpool and Leicester City in the Premier League.

However, there has been a significant drop in his form over the last couple of months, which also saw him miss England’s World Cup squad.

Ten Hag points out that Sancho’s fitness issues were the reason for his continued absence and has stated that he is unsure about his return date.

“Sometimes there are circumstances with fitness and mood,” Ten Hag said (h/t BBC Sport).

“He was not in the right status or fitness state.”

“He’s on a physical programme and our aim is to get him back as quickly as possible, but I can’t give a prognosis of when that will be.”

Ten Hag also offered his thoughts on Sancho’s exclusion from the World Cup. The Dutch boss believes that an overwhelming competition in the England squad and a decline in performances led to him missing out on the flight to Qatar.

“There’s huge competition with England,” Ten Hag added. “Even at the World Cup, every game is difficult to know who to start because there’s so much talent in the offensive line.

“When you don’t show it week by week you can fall out of the squad, which is what happened.

“When the league started he played some good games, but after we got a drop of levels.”

Sancho is unlikely to feature in the Carabao Cup game against Burnley next week, and there will also be massive competition when he returns to the fold.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure has prompted the Red Devils to target a forward in the winter transfer window.

Netherlands’ World Cup star Cody Gakpo remains a priority target, but United reportedly need to spend around €65 million to acquire his services from PSV Eindhoven in January.

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