Jaden Sancho can't hide his smile as Old Trafford give heartwarming reception
It would warm your heart.
Manchester United are through to the Carabao Cup final after beating Nottingham Forest, but the highlight of the game was when Jaden Sancho was introduced.
The English attacker hasn't played since October, and manager Erik ten Hag revealed that his absence wasn't just due to physical injury, but struggles with his mental health as well.
Sancho has struggled since his big money move to Old Trafford in 2021, and has so far been unable to live up to the promise that he showed while playing for Borrusia Dortmund.
Gareth Southgate even omitted him from the England panel that was travelling to the World Cup, and things went from bad to worse for the 22-year-old.
However, when the board went up to announce the forward's introduction into the game on Wednesday night, the news was greeted by a huge roar from the United fans.
Chants of 'Sancho, Sancho, Sancho' echoed around the stadium and the striker shared a lovely moment with his manager who appeared to give him some words of encouragement before coming on.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 1, 2023
The young star couldn't contain his visible delight at the reception he was receiving and he cracked a big smile before coming onto the pitch.
Interestingly, he was deployed in a number 10 role, rather than playing on the outside as he normally would have.
This was maybe a ploy by the gaffer to bring him into the game a little earlier, get him involved and speed up the dusting of the cobwebs process.
BIG Old Trafford cheers for Jadon Sancho's return! 🔴 pic.twitter.com/NQAtEgD83m
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) February 1, 2023
Or, it may be where ten Hag sees the Englishman in his future plans, as the Dutchman continues to tinker and tweak with his new winning formula.
Goals from Anthony Martial and Fred saw Man United win 2-0 on the night - 5-0 in aggregate - and book an official place in the Carabao Cup final.
- Erik ten Hag: 'Jadon Sancho isn't physically and mentally fit enough to return to training'
- The four players offered to Man United before they decided on Marcel Sabitzer
- Christian Eriksen set to miss the next few months with injury, Man United confirm