Rio Ferdinand raises Ten Hag theory over Sancho row as Rashford name-checked

Erik ten Hag reviews Brighton

Rio Ferdinand believes that Erik ten Hag decided to resort to a Hail Mary by publicly outing Jadon Sancho’s attitude. The Manchester United icon is convinced Ten Hag’s brutal honesty, which sparked an ongoing spat between the pair, was a desperate attempt to unlock Sancho’s potential at Old Trafford.

Sancho’s United career is in limbo after his explosive reaction to Ten Hag revealing he excluded him from the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal due to poor training performances.

The 23-year-old winger took to social media with a rogue statement, effectively calling his manager a liar and claiming he had been made a ‘scapegoat’.

Ten Hag arranged showdown talks with Sancho during the second week of the international break, but club figures had to get involved when the No 25 refused to apologise for his public act of defiance.

The Dutchman subsequently banished Sancho from his first team, leaving the £73million flop to train at Carrington’s academy centre.

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Ferdinand has weighed in on the saga, suggesting that Ten Hag viewed his decision to criticise Sancho at the Emirates Stadium as a final roll of the dice.

“Is it a personal thing between the manager and player? Or is he genuinely not training the way he wants him to train? Jadon would say and agree he hasn’t lived up to the hype yet and the fee,” Ferdinand told his YouTube channel FIVE.

“The manager has gone, ‘This is my last chance. I can’t get anything else out of him, so I’ll make it public and see if that public embarrassment and his pride gets pressed enough, and he comes back with a performance’.”

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Ten Hag did the same last season with Marcus Rashford, who reacted positively to being dropped at Wolves for lateness due to sleeping in, coming off the bench to net the winner.

But Ferdinand believes doing the same with Sancho – who has endured physical and mental issues during Ten Hag’s tenure – was too big a call to have been taken lightly.

Ferdinand added: “He did it to Rashford. He was the talisman at the time. He was on fire. He was on the top of his game… in terms of ego and pride and then more pressure.

“I just think there have been players asked questions publicly or subliminally. I think the manager going public with Jadon was a big call, and did the manager understand the risk with that?”

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