Borussia Dortmund chief hits out at Man Utd over Jadon Sancho claims | Football


The winger was put straight into the squad against Darmstadt on Saturday (Picture: Getty)

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has fired back at criticism of Manchester United loanee Jadon Sancho and branded claims of an attitude issue an ‘invention’.

The 23-year-old has returned to Dortmund on loan until the end of the season after being exiled by Erik ten Hag and forced to train at United’s academy facilities since the beginning of September.

Ten Hag had questioned Sancho’s effort levels in training and dropped him against Arsenal as a result, though the winger rejected the complaints in a post on social media platform X and accused his manager of making him a ‘scapegoat’.

Sancho was told he would need to make a public apology to Ten Hag in order to return to the first-team squad but refused, leading to four months of exile without playing a game.

In the intervening time, various reports emerged about Sancho’s lack of application and discipline in training while former team-mate Nemanja Matic claimed the England international and Paul Pogba were ‘always late’ for sessions.

But Sancho was reportedly ‘training like a beast’ during his time on the sidelines and was thrust straight into Dortmund’s squad for Saturday’s Bundesliga showdown with Darmstadt.

Speaking shortly before kick-off, BVB chief Watzke rejected suggestions it was a surprise to see Sancho in the Dortmund squad so soon, slamming the criticism that has come his way in recent months.

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho on loan from Man Utd

Sancho takes part in the warm-up before Saturday’s game (Picture: Getty)

‘Jadon has no problem with discipline,’ the Dortmund CEO told Sky Sport Germany. ‘I don’t know who invented that.’

Watzke did, however, concede that Sancho ‘has a bit of a problem with his internal clock and can be a bit late from time to time.’

The Dortmund chief says the winger has lost none of his talent during his United exile and is still a ‘friend of the ball’ with his dribbling, while he also suggested that ‘some journalists seem to have him mixed up with (Ousmane) Dembele’ who went on strike to force a move to Barcelona in 2017.

Watzke’s assessment lines up with that of former United interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who rubbished claims that Sancho has a poor work ethic in a recent interview.

Asked about Sancho’s attitude, Rangnick told Sky Germany: ‘In the six months I had him, there wasn’t a single discipline problem.

‘On the contrary. He is a calm and pleasant guy.’

Ten Hag, meanwhile, had little to say about Sancho’s departure, only: ‘I hope he’s doing well, so I wish him the best of luck. That’s it. I hope he’s doing well and he will be a success.’

MORE : Ralf Rangnick opens up on Jadon Sancho’s conduct at Man Utd

MORE : Erik ten Hag tries to explain why Antony has zero goals or assists for Manchester United this season

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