WATCH: Erik ten Hag heaps praise on exiled Jadon Sancho after Champions League star turn

FILE - Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

FILE - Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP

Published May 2, 2024


Erik ten Hag says Jadon Sancho's impressive Champions League semi-final performance for Borussia Dortmund shows why Manchester United bought him and underlined his "high value".

The 24-year-old winger struggled to live up to the hype after moving to Old Trafford from the German club for £73 million ($91 million) in 2021.

He was banished from the first-team set-up last September after claiming on social media he had been made a "scapegoat".

Sancho hit out after United manager Ten Hag said he had underperformed in training ahead of their match against Arsenal.

He has not played since for the club, who loaned him out to his former employers for the rest of the season in January.

Sancho sparkled in Dortmund's 1-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, increasing talk about where his future lies.

"Yesterday he showed why Manchester United bought him," Ten Hag told reporters on Thursday. "He showed also that he represents a high value for Manchester United, which is good.

"So, I'm happy — happy for Jadon with his performance yesterday and we will see what is going to happen in the future."

Reports this week said most of United's players were up for sale after a poor season, though the club want to hold on to youngsters Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund.

But Ten Hag, who is unsure about his own future, said the reports were wildly exaggerated.

"It's a joke," he said. "As long as I've worked here, every summer, every window, I think 200 players are getting interest from Manchester United. We did some research. Untrue.

"And also every summer we sell all of the players in our squad, so you (in the media) are making all of the headlines, which is untrue."

Marcus Rashford was reported to be among those up for sale and the misfiring forward will again be absent when sixth-placed United return to Premier League action at Crystal Palace on Monday.

"I can't tell (when he will be back)," Ten Hag said.

Rashford joins Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane on the sidelines, with Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes also doubtful for the game against the Eagles.