Jadon Sancho has hit back at Erik ten Hag after the Manchester United manager gave a brutal reason for dropping the winger for Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal.
United suffered a dramatic 3-1 loss to the Gunners in a pulsating match at the Emirates.
Marcus Rashford put the visitors ahead against the run of play midway through the first half before Arsenal immediately equalised through Martin Odegaard.
United thought they had found a winner but Alejandro Garnacho’s late goal was ruled out for offside.
Arsenal then snatched all three points as Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus both scored deep into added time.
Ten Hag struggled to hide his anger at full time, claiming Garacho’s goal should have stood while insisting Rasmus Hojlund should have been awarded a penalty on his debut for United.
He was also asked about Sancho, who was not included in his squad for the match – with youngsters Dan Gore and Hannibal Mejbri selected instead.
The Dutchman revealed that Sancho had been left out due to issues in training. Watch the video below.
👀 “McTominay is ill & Jadon wasn’t selected because of his training performance…”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 3, 2023
“Jadon was [absent] on his performance on the training,” Ten Hag said.
“We didn’t select him. You have to reach a level every day at Manchester United and we can make choices on the frontline, so for this game he wasn’t selected.”
It is the latest setback for Sancho, who was left out of United’s first-team squad and made to train separately with coaches in the Netherlands for several months last season following Ten Hag’s arrival at Old Trafford.
Speaking earlier this summer, Ten Hag said he’d seen an improvement from Sancho and believed the England international had turned a corner.
“He has the skills,” Ten Hag said in July. “He has to show consistently that he can make a huge contribution. When you are a front player, end product is the key. So make sure you are making the key actions, the final pass and get your goals in.
“The rest has to be good as well [pressing and attitude]. That is your foundation and then you meet all the other standards that we expect. At this moment he is in a very good vibe. He decides how he is, how his mood and vibe is.
— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) September 3, 2023
“He has a lot of energy, we have all seen that from the moment he came back. He wants to enjoy football and be successful.”
Sancho has since released a public statement on social media claiming Ten Hag’s comments are “untrue”.
“Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that is completely untrue, I have conducted myself in training very well this week,” he said.
“I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t go into, I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!
“All I want to do is play football with a smile on my face and contribute to my team. I respect all decisions that are made by the coaching staff, I play with fantastic players and grateful to do so which I know every week is a challenge.
“I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what!”