Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag provided an update on Jadon Sancho. The coach has claimed that the 22-year-old winger is dealing with physical and mental issues while training away from the team. Sancho had previously been practicing individually in the Netherlands.

When asked directly if Sancho was injured or just unfit, ten Hag said that the youngster was “not fit enough.” The Dutchman went on to talk about how players need breaks away from the action sometimes.

Ten Hag: “Players are not robots”

“I think any top athletes, in football but also in any sports, sometimes it is good to go away from the place where you are at daily to get a new vibe, to get experience,” said ten Hag. “People have a different approach and can give you the right push to get back on track.” 

“Football players are not robots. No one is the same and for everyone you need a different approach and we thought, in cooperation with Jadon, it was the best choice.”

Ten Hag has United playing well despite Sancho absence

Sancho has not played for United since Oct. 22. He was on the bench the following week, but never entered the fray. The team’s attacking options have dwindled in Sancho’s absence. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo departed the club permanently in November.

Despite the lack of firepower up front, the Red Devils have managed to win seven of their last eight matches. Nevertheless, ten Hag is more than ready to reintroduce Sancho back into the squad when fit.

“I would like to have Jadon back as soon as possible,” proclaimed the coach. “But also in this, I can’t force this process. So I will do everything that’s in my power, but some processes you can’t force. I also have to show patience. Although I don’t have the patience because yeah, you are right, we have a lack of opportunities in the front line.”

“But the good thing is, is that he is back in Carrington. So, he is making progress so he is ready for the next step.”

Manchester United face Everton in an FA Cup matchup on Friday. They have a Carabao Cup fixture Tuesday before resuming Premier League play against crosstown rivals City on Jan. 14.