Rio Ferdinand has questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to omit Jadon Sancho from the England squad for this month’s Nations League games.
The 22-year-old endured a stuttering start to his Manchester United career last season, but has looked sharp under Erik ten Hag this campaign, already netting three goals in eight games across all competitions.
He broke the deadlock in Man Utd’s first Europa League win of the campaign against Sheriff Tiraspol, and has notched further goals in the 2-1 win over Liverpool in the Premier League and against Leicester City.
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Many were expecting the former Borussia Dortmund winger to be called up for this month’s Nations League matches given his recent run of form. But, Southgate ultimately snubbed him in what was his final squad roll call before the World Cup.
That decision has left Sancho’s potential place on the plane to Qatar in serious jeopardy, and Ferdinand has been startled by Southgate’s thinking.
The former Man Utd and England defender believes Sancho is much more suited to international football than the Premier League, making his omission all the more baffling.
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“Yeah I would have [picked Sancho], given what he’s been doing at the beginning of the season,” Ferdinand said on the FIVE YouTube channel.
“Sancho probably suits international football more than the Premier League. Arguably you could say that, the way he plays. I don’t know [why Southgate hasn’t picked him].”
Sancho was a regular fixture in the England squad during his time at Borussia Dortmund, but since making the switch to Old Trafford, he has been regularly shunned. The last time he was in a matchday squad came back in December 2021, with the 22-year-old yet to earn an England cap this year.
Sancho’s per 90 attacking statistics vs England’s other forward options this season
In fact, Sancho has only started three England games in the nation’s last 27 matches, one of which came in last summer’s European Championship. He played the full 90 minutes as England beat Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-finals. He has featured twice since then, a one-minute cameo in the final, and 73 minutes in a World Cup qualifier against Andorra.
Given the current complexion, it would seem Sancho needs to produce significantly in the coming weeks for Man Utd if he is to attract the attention of Southgate.