Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has, on Friday, spoken out over the ongoing chatter surrounding two key members of his squad.
First up, unsurprisingly, comes Jadon Sancho.
Sancho and Ten Hag, of course, are currently in the midst of a public fallout, after Sancho issued a scathing social media statement, accusing his manager of scapegoating him on the back of United’s recent Premier League defeat at the hands of Arsenal.
The England international, ultimately, deleted his post, with the assumption, in turn, having been that Sancho and Ten Hag were working towards mending their relationship.
The latest word stemming from the media, however, has confirmed quite the opposite.
After it was first revealed that Sancho was being forced to train separately from the rest of Man United’s first-team squad, subsequent updates revealed that the former Borussia Dortmund man had point blank denied a club request to apologise to his manager.
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s post-international break return to action on Saturday, it therefore came as little surprise when the situation surrounding Sancho, once more, was put to Erik ten Hag.
Asked directly whether he expects the 23-year-old to ever line out in United’s colours again, the Dutchman explained:
“I don’t know. I am sitting here. Tomorrow we have a big game, we are going into a new block of games, many games in a condensed programme. I focus on that.”
Pressed further on his decision to exclude Sancho, Ten Hag continued:
“I am always honest. You have to keep things inside but when I am asked the question, I will be honest.
“That [his principles] is what my decision is based on. That is not about me, and to be strict. No. This is in favour of the team. Yes, even [when it could be to the team’s detriment]. Everyone can make his opinion about that...”
Turning attentions away from Sancho and towards another member of his squad at Old Trafford, Ten Hag then went on to discuss the situation of summer arrival Sofyan Amrabat.
Hope had spread on the red half of Manchester across the week to date that midfielder Amrabat could be in line to make his debut against Brighton on Saturday, amid claims that the Moroccan had fully recovered from a recent fitness concern.
However, his boss this evening revealed that, in fact, this will not prove to be the case.
This comes with Amrabat still not quite match fit.
Interestingly, Ten Hag from here went on to provide an insight into his plans for the Fiorentina loanee, too, first confirming that Amrabat will likely be utilised both in a deep-lying midfield role, and further forward.
More surprising, though, was the revelation that ”he can also play as a wing-back or full-back”.