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“Red flag” – Old Man United player academy story recalled amid director admission



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An old story about Jadon Sancho’s time in Manchester City’s academy has been recalled as the Manchester United forward joins Borussia Dortmund on loan.

Jadon Sancho will spend the remainder of the 2023/24 season on loan at Borussia Dortmund after a public spat with Erik ten Hag left him banished from all Manchester United first-team activities.

Sancho joined Old Trafford for a fee of £73 million from Dortmund in 2021, with many excited at the prospect of such a talented young player gracing the pitch for the historic club.

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The move has not panned out the way many had hoped, with Sancho failing to live up to expectations – and former Newcastle and West Ham player Kieron Dyer has recalled a story about Jadon Sancho from the FA Youth Cup a number of seasons ago that was a big “red flag” at the time.

“He [Sancho] was a wonder kid growing up. He was the talk of everybody in the academies at that time,” Dyer told talkSPORT. “I was coaching, and when I watched Man City, he was unstoppable.

“It was the youth team, so the under-18s, and he was incredible. He was probably 17 years old, and everyone wanted him; he could have his pick; he’d just dominate every team.

“They played Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup final and played against Reece James, and Reece James got the better of him, which can happen to anyone, but he quit on his team in the Youth Cup final.

“He just mentally went, and I kind of had a red flag against him then and thought that’s a bit weird.

“He’s got the world at his feet, and alright, he’s had a bad game, but he’s quit on his teammates. You could see the life had gone out of him, he’d stopped tracking back and sort of given up and was basically mentally gone.”

Dortmund will pay £3 million for Sancho, but there are further performance-related stipulations in the contract that could see the Bundesliga club pay up to a further £3.4 million.

Sebastian Kehl, Borussia Dortmund director, has explained that Dortmund do not have an option to buy Sancho at the end of his contract, but has also admitted that he cannot rule anything out.

“We don’t have a buy option for Sancho,” he said. Asked about if Sancho could stay at Dortmund beyond this season, he replied: “You can never rule anything out… but we know what kind of market value he can generate.

“I’m not naive – but we’ll let things come to us.”