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Jadon Sancho: Will Jason Wilcox have impact on Man United winger’s future?



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Jason Wilcox will become Manchester United’s new technical director after the Southampton director of football reportedly resigned from his current role.

Wilcox, 53, will join the new hierarchy being constructed by INEOS at Old Trafford and will play a key role alongside the likes of Omar Berrada and Dan Ashworth.

The former Manchester City academy director has quickly risen in profile over the last few years. He initially was an academy coach at United’s rivals before becoming their Under-18s head coach and then the director of the academy at the Etihad Campus in 2017.

He made the decision to leave to become Southampton’s chief operator at the end of last season but has since asked to leave the club following the interest from United.

Read More: Manchester United’s reaction to Southampton’s ‘angry’ reaction to Jason Wilcox approach

Wilcox will be more familiar with one player than most when he moves across town, although Jadon Sancho’s situation has changed exponentially since the 53-year-old last worked with him.

In Manchester City’s academy, Sancho was one of the standout players and always seemed destined to make the first team. Wilcox labelled the now United winger as “sensational” after his Under-18s debut under him at just 15 years of age.

After Sancho scored twice on his first appearance for Wilcox at U18 level, he said: “For a young kid playing his first under-18s football match, I thought he was sensational. He’s a talented boy who works really hard.”

However, ever since Sancho joined the Old Trafford side, his development has slipped. He looked set to become one of the biggest names in Europe but is now back on loan at Borussia Dortmund and has major question marks surrounding his future at Old Trafford.

Wilcox will become a key part at Old Trafford come the summer, as long as United find an agreement over a compensation fee with Southampton and will likely offer important input into the final decision over Sancho’s future.

According to The Athletic, the 53-year-old is credited with pushing and challenging Sancho to fulfil his talent when the wide player was still at City.

Despite Sancho’s immense talent, it was added that there was an effort to improve his application. Wilcox, who was credited with pushing many of City’s best prospects to better themselves, took a fairly strict approach to any transgressions.

It was further explained that on one occasion, Sancho was left out of an FA Youth Cup game at Arsenal for being late. The 2021 article explained that this action “really stuck with” Sancho, but we cannot be so sure now.

Since then, there have been disciplinary actions at both Dortmund and United, and they are one of the reasons that his spout with Erik ten Hag happened.

Wilcox certainly will be aware of the challenges that Sancho brings to the table, but also could be able to offer additional insight into the 23-year-old, who has been described as “shy”, and whether there might be a future for him at Old Trafford.