Jadon Sancho has the next month off, but he won’t be happy about it.
He is one of the high-profile absentees of England’s 2022 World Cup squad, joining Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori among the others.
This is even more remarkable when you consider he sits behind only Jack Grealish and Harry Maguire as one of England’s most expensive players, costing £73million.
Sancho, who joined from Borussia Dortmund in 2021, has had a slow start to the Premier League season as he looks to regain the form he showed that earned him a big money transfer.
The winger was part of the England side that reached the Euro 2020 final where he was one of the players who missed a crucial penalty in the shootout as Italy triumphed.
However, manager Gareth Southgate has decided not to include him as England set their sights on winning a first major trophy since 1966.
Sancho’s goal contributions have been limited, with him amassing just three goals and one assist in 14 games.
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The 22-year-old has started 12 of those matches, with United boss Erik ten Hag seemingly still confident in the player’s abilities despite his lack of success at Old Trafford.
Last season he scored five times and recorded three assists in 38 games, an average of just under one contribution every five appearances.
Gabby Agbonlahor thinks confidence plays a big part.
“When I watch Man United I look at Antony, I look at [Marcus] Rashford, I look at [Bruno] Fernandes and they look like they want to take a player on and want to do something and take responsibility in the attacking third,” the talkSPORT co-host said.
“Sancho, he gets the ball and passes it backwards. If I was Luke Shaw I’d say ‘stop passing it back to me, I’m giving you the ball so take someone on’.
“At Dortmund he was doing it every week. His confidence is that low, does he feel like he doesn’t have the speed or the trickery to get past someone?”
Southgate has largely stuck with the tried and tested when it comes to picking his squad, with the most eye-catching selections being Leicester’s James Maddison and Newcastle striker Callum Wilson.
Sancho didn’t appear to be in the conversation when it came to who would be on the plane, with Liverpool’s Harvey Elliot seemingly higher in the pecking order.
As for those who did make it, England begin their World Cup campaign against Iran on 21 November.