Jadon Sancho scored his fourth Man United goal of the season to salvage a draw against Leeds United at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag is convinced Jadon Sancho can demonstrate what a “brilliant footballer” he is now he is back in the Manchester United side.
Sancho came off the bench for his first appearance in 102 days against Nottingham Forest last week and equalised to salvage a point against Leeds United in an uproarious 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.
The 23-year-old returned to squad training three weeks ago after encountering physical and mental issues that led to him taking a break from social media and travelling to the Netherlands for a bespoke training programme.
“I’m really happy he is in the right direction,” Ten Hag said. “I hope he can keep this momentum going and I’m sure it will strengthen him and motivate him to do even more.
“As you see, he’s a brilliant footballer and if he invests and he is in the right levels he can perform outstandingly. I think we now have a team who can dictate games, who play more in an opponent’s half; he likes that. He can play in tight areas and he can make the difference. That second goal shows it but when he came on last week we saw it as well.
“I think it’s in his own hands. So if he wants, he can do. And this team is great to play in, will give you joy but I really enjoy seeing him play the way he did with so much confidence, with so much belief, really direct. It was great to see him play in this attack.
“It’s clear it’s a difficult period that he finds himself out. I’m pleased and I’m proud he did it. So I will back him, the coaches will back him, the team is backing him and supporting him in this process and finally he has to do it by himself.
“You can see when he has good levels he is an outstanding football player and makes a difference. I hope he can stay in this mood and contribute to the spirit of the team and score a lot of goals or create a lot of chances and assists.”
Sancho last started for United against Chelsea on October 22 but he could line up in the reverse fixture at Leeds on Sunday.