Rio Ferdinand asks Man Utd question after Jadon Sancho masterclass in Borussia Dortmund’s win over PSG | Football

Jadon Sancho produced a superb performance in Dortmund’s victory over PSG (Picture: Getty)

Rio Ferdinand drooled over Jadon Sancho’s ‘joke’ of a performance after Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain, asking why the forward has struggled to hit such heights at Manchester United.

Sancho was the standout player on the pitch in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Signal Iduna Park, as Niclas Fullkrug scored the only goal of the game to put Dortmund in control ahead of their trip to Paris in a week’s time.

Fullkrug should perhaps have scored a second after a scintillating piece of wing play from United loanee Sancho, but the Germany striker ballooned his effort over the bar when it appeared easier to score.

United supporters could be forgiven for thinking the Sancho in Dortmund’s starting XI was a different player to the man they signed from the Bundesliga outfit or a fee of reported fee of around £73million back in 2021.

In between flashes of brilliance, Sancho has largely flattered to deceive in a United shirt and the England international completed a January loan move back to Dortmund in the hope of resurrecting his stuttering career.

Sancho will have been desperate to prove a point heading into the eagerly anticipated first leg and he did just that, with the 24-year-old eclipsing Kylian Mbappe on the night.

‘He’s shaking and baking top players here. He’s putting people on the floor, he’s making people dance,’ legendary ex-United and England defender Ferdinand said in the TNT Sports studio shortly after the final whistle.

Jadon Sancho

The England forward completed a loan move from United to Dortmund in January (Picture: Getty)

‘It was a joke what he did today and we haven’t seen this, probably since he was at Dortmund before.

‘He isn’t just a dribbler, he isn’t just somebody who runs and runs past people with pace. He’s a footballer who wants to come in and play one-twos, be part of the game and the tempo of that game.

‘What I saw today more than anything, which I haven’t seen and have been waiting to see, and all Manchester United fans have been waiting to see, I saw cage-football Sancho today.

‘This is the kid that grew up in cages, with that arrogance and that little bit of swagger. I’ve been sitting here saying that it’s there but we haven’t seen it.’

Ferdinand was bowled over by Sancho’s display (Picture: Getty)

Ferdinand urged Sancho to ‘lap up’ the inevitable praise he will receive on the back of his exceptional display before pondering how the England attacker had fallen so far short of expectations at Old Trafford.

‘He’s in a groove. Once someone gets in a groove, we’ve seen it with different sportsmen in different sports, football, especially, when they’re in the groove and the confidence is there, they churn these performances out,’ Ferdinand added.

‘He will come off this pitch with a high. He will see people going on about him on social media and love it and rightly so. Lap it up.

Sancho has struggled to live up to expectations at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

‘I hate to go back to it but I want to know what happened at Manchester United. Why didn’t it go well there?!

‘Was it because he was disheartened, wasn’t getting game-time, was it the size of the shirt, the weight of the shirt?

‘Is it the manager’s fault for not getting the best out of him? The physicality of the Premier League, was that an issue?

‘There’s so many things you look at and think: what could it be? Only Jadon can tell us that, but at the same time, you look at the way he played in the Champions League semi-final – you can’t devalue that.’

Mbappe was some way from his best in the semi-final first leg (Picture: Getty)

According to Ferdinand, Sancho’s value would have soared as a result of his showing versus PSG which is a big ‘plus point’ for United.

‘What I would say for Jadon, for him and also Manchester United, there’s a plus point tonight: the value has gone back up again because I think most teams were probably looking to loan him or nick him for very cheap,’ he continued.

‘But teams will be looking at that performance and going, “If I can get anywhere near that on a regular basis then I will have some of that!”.’

Hargreaves felt Sancho showed Mbappe up in the first leg (Picture: Getty)

Former United and Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves was similarly impressed by Sancho’s performance and felt the forward outplayed every single player on the pitch at a raucous Westfalenstadion.

‘I could tell from his first few touches that he was confident and his body language suggested he believes,’ Hargreaves said.

‘He had a bit of arrogance about him. This is what makes a flair player really good.

A confident-looking Sancho cause PSG problems all night (Picture: Getty)

‘At Manchester United we didn’t really see him commit people, whether that was confidence or he wasn’t as fit but Jadon just answered a lot of questions today.

‘You might criticise that he’s not as consistent, but that today, he outplayed every player on that pitch and some of those players are the best players in the world.

‘That was really, really impressive tonight.’

Hargreaves added: ‘I’ve played in Champions League semi-finals and the shirt is heavy, it doesn’t matter which team you’re playing for.

‘That deserves all praise. Any haters out there can hate and say he doesn’t do it consistently, but that today… he outperformed the best player in the world today in Kylian Mbappe.

‘That deserves a lot of praise. I know he’s been in spaces where he hasn’t been at his best but that today was super impressive.’

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