Could United Have Won the Premier League if They’d Have Got Sancho?

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United Haven't Learned From Previous Lessons

Since 2013, Manchester United’s transfer strategy has been nothing short of shambolic and in all reality, last summer’s transfer window saw them bring in three decent signings in Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani, whilst still leaving a glaring hole down the right-wing.

United have not had a natural right-winger since the days of Antonio Valencia and Nani back in 2014, prior to Louis van Gaal selling the latter and converting Valencia into a right wing-back.

Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho looked most likely to be United’s marquee signing for the majority of the transfer window, however, United refused to meet the Black and Yellow’s asking price and have instead penalised themselves by having no senior first-team right-winger in their squad.

United did sign the likes of Amad Diallo for just over £35m including bonuses from Atalanta and Facundo Pellestri from Uruguayan side Penarol on the recommendation of former cult hero Diego Forlan. This was subject to a lot of frustration from United fans, as it is evident that the club needed a signing for the here and now, having gone such a long time without a right-winger.

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How Does Sancho compare to the Rest of United’s Front 3?

Neither Anthony Martial or Mason Greenwood have set the Premier League alight this season which has been a big concern for the Old Trafford club.

Martial’s season started badly, despite him getting the first of his six goal contributions in the league in the first minute against Spurs at Old Trafford in October. However, he was sent off less than half an hour into the match after receiving a red card for violent conduct, which was the catalyst to a humiliating 6-1 home defeat for United.

The 25-year-old Frenchman also got a brace of goal contributions in two separate matches against Sheffield United and Leeds United in mid-December, which means that he has played 12 matches in the Premier League where he has failed to contribute to a goal, which is far from the form that would get your side a league title.

Meanwhile, Greenwood has often played on the right-wing and has scored just one goal in 786 minutes in the league, having struggled with a lot of off-field incidents this season.

Rashford has often been one of United’s best attackers this season having scored seven and assisted eight, but, it must be noted that his record when played as a left-winger in a front three is significantly better than when being used on the right, as he has 10 goal contributions in 12 games there. Meanwhile, he has one goal and four assists when played down the middle or on the right-wing on eight separate occasions.

It is blatant that United need a specialist to come in and to make the right-wing position their own, which is what Sancho would do, as he would help to maintain the natural width that United lack.

At present, Rashford is the club’s most effective right-winger, which effectively sacrifices the impressive statistics that he generates on the left. Whereas the likes of Sancho joining United would allow Rashford to move back onto his favoured side, as well as having a good threat down the right, as the Dortmund winger has got 96 goal contributions in 122 games since joining the Bundesliga club, including the six goals and 13 assists he has made this campaign.

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Where Would United be with Sancho in their Side and How Much are They Missing him?

If United had paid the £120m asking price for Sancho last summer rather than bewilderingly waiting until this summer where they will surely face a lot of competition to sign the 20-year-old, then they could well have been top of the league at present.

There have been many cases where the lack of width and creativity to break teams down has cost United badly, including the 2-1 home defeat bottom of the table Sheffield United. The Blades had it relatively easy in the end. They dropped off so deep, the speedy front three of United simply couldn't get in behind and as a result, the Red Devils just played keep-ball in their half.

One of United’s biggest flaws this season has been breaking down the 'Big Six' sides, as when they have played them in the league, they have scored just once, which was via a Bruno Fernandes penalty against Tottenham Hotspur.

Many of the bigger teams have thrown more caution to the wind against United this season, as noticeably the Red Devils best-attacking qualities come on the counter-attack when they are allowed space, as shown in their 3-2 FA Cup home win against Liverpool last weekend. This is exactly where Sancho is at his best and that 'best' is significantly better than what Martial, Greenwood and Rashford currently boast.

Ultimately, United could’ve potentially seen themselves be comfortably clear of neighbours Manchester City who currently sit one point ahead with a game in hand, due to the unpredictability of results on a whole in the Premier League this season.

Sancho's 13 assists and six goals across the board is better than anybody in United's attacking lineup. His creativity and his fabulous ability to make space for others have made it even more painful for United fans who were so desperate to see him sign.

At the start of the season, it looked as if Sancho would be missed for the club in terms of getting them into the top four. Now, however, this is without question, going to be where all fingers are pointed if they fail to win the league and signing Sancho might have just been the missing piece.

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