Erik ten Hag not happy with decisions in the game with Arsenal
Jadon Sancho may well have backed himself into a corner at Manchester United by initiating a war of words with manager Erik ten Hag. An expensive, high-earning member of the squad with no part to play on the pitch is what every team wants to avoid, but it’s exactly what Mikel Arteta is set to end up with unless a speedy resolution can be found.
Much like Sancho’s £73million move to Man Utd in 2021, plenty of excitement accompanied Arsenal’s swoop for Nicolas Pepe two years prior, which commanded a virtually identical transfer fee.
The Ivorian had just spent the season tearing it up at Lille, in a similar manner to how Sancho was consistently excelling with Borussia Dortmund. The pair have each fallen short of expectations since getting their respective Premier League moves.
Sancho’s stint at Old Trafford reached a new low on Sunday, when he was left out of the matchday squad altogether by Ten Hag, who claimed that he was performing poorly in training.
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The winger then risked his United career entering into a tailspin by calling out the manager’s comments on social media, telling supporters ‘not to believe’ everything they read and admitting that he was fed up of being made a ‘scapegoat’.
Sancho has only made three substitute appearances for the Red Devils this season, and recent events suggest that he will not be back in the starting XI any time soon. Down in north London, Pepe finds himself in a similar situation.
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The 28-year-old has been completely frozen out by Arteta, who admits that the club are trying their hardest to find him a way out. Reports indicate that the Gunners are even considering a termination of Pepe’s contract so that all parties can move on from the disastrous move.
Arteta may have to take such drastic action if a solution can’t be found soon. Transfer windows remain open in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey until later this month, but Pepe hardly has suitors queueing up to whisk him away from the Emirates Stadium.
The similarities are plenty, therefore, between Sancho and Pepe. While United are set to be saddled with Sancho until at least January, even if he cannot build bridges with Ten Hag, the possibility of a move abroad means that Arsenal are still able to move Pepe on as soon as possible.
The Ivory Coast international proved on loan at OGC Nice last campaign that he still has something to offer, scoring six goals in 19 Ligue 1 matches.
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