Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has expressed his pride in Jadon Sancho for battling his way back to action.
The England international scored the equaliser as United came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Leeds United on Wednesday evening, finding the net just 11 minutes after coming on for his first goal in any competition since September 15.
What’s more, Sancho created three chances during his time on the pitch, while attempting four dribbles and one cross in a lively cameo.
It’s the first time Sancho has appeared in the Premier League since mid-October having battled back from a number of physical and mental issues. Ten Hag was full of praise for the 22-year-old’s achievement.
“It was a difficult period but he fought himself out [it]. He needs credit for that and I’m pleased, I’m proud he did it,” Ten Hag said.
“I will back him, the coaches are backing him, the team is backing him and supporting him in this process. But finally, he has to do it by himself.
“You can see when he’s in a good level he is an outstanding football player, he’s brilliant. He can make the difference and I hope he can stay in this mood and contribute to this team and score a lot of goals and create chances and assists.”
This was special.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 8, 2023
The strike against Leeds was Sancho’s third in 11 Premier League appearances, equalling a total that took him 29 games during his debut season with the Red Devils following his £73m transfer from Borussia Dortmund.
Ten Hag is convinced the only way is forward now for Sancho, who should take great confidence forward from his goal.
“I’m very happy. He’s on the way back. We know he is a magnificent football player,” the former Ajax manager said. “He can definitely for our team be a big impact. Tonight he had, but we know he can be a consistent impact. He has to work very hard, we all do, and in this moment he is in a good mood.
“I think it will strengthen him, motivate him to even give more, then you’ll get more. It’s a brilliant footballer, and that second goal I really enjoyed it, and especially for him.”