HomeTeams - OtherBorussia DortmundReport: Inside Look at United's Talent Mismanagement

Report: Inside Look at United’s Talent Mismanagement

Analyzing Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United Stint: A Case Study in Talent Management

The Talent Vortex at Manchester United

Jadon Sancho’s move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United in 2021 was met with high expectations. However, his recent loan return to Dortmund highlights a worrying trend at United – a place where major talents seem to lose their way. Sancho’s case mirrors Paul Pogba’s circular journey, returning to United from Juventus only to leave again, unfulfilled. This recurring pattern at United, as Oliver Brown of the Telegraph points out, is too frequent to be dismissed as mere coincidence.

The Curse of the No. 7 Jersey

United’s history with their iconic No. 7 jersey, once worn by legends like George Best and Eric Cantona, has been troubling in recent years. Angel Di Maria’s stint was far from successful, and Alexis Sanchez, despite his high earnings, failed to make an impact. These instances add to the narrative of United’s inability to harness and nurture the potential of big-money signings.

Sancho’s Downward Spiral

Sancho’s decline at United was stark. From a promising young talent to a player training with the academy, his journey has been marred with challenges. Despite Erik ten Hag’s candid remarks about Sancho’s physical and mental fitness, questions arise about whether the issue lies more with the player or the club. Sancho’s form and alleged poor attitude have been a topic of debate, but the pattern of player regression at United points to deeper institutional issues.

The Management’s Role in Player Development

The current situation at United raises questions about the club’s ability to develop and polish talent, a skill that Sir Alex Ferguson mastered during his tenure. The evolution of players like Cristiano Ronaldo at United under Ferguson seems unimaginable in the current regime. Antony’s record under Ten Hag and the handling of Sancho’s situation reflect a lack of nurturing of player potential.

Institutional Weaknesses and Future Directions

The regression of many players at United in a short span suggests an institutional weakness in managing talent. This is an area that Sir Jim Ratcliffe, in charge of football operations, needs to investigate. It’s crucial for United to avoid repeat scenarios like Sancho’s, which are not only sad but also self-defeating for a club of its stature.


Jadon Sancho’s journey at Manchester United, marked by unfulfilled potential and eventual return to Dortmund, is symptomatic of deeper issues at the club. It reflects a failure in talent management and a need for institutional introspection to ensure that such talents are nurtured and harnessed effectively in the future.

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