Jadon Sancho's recent sidelining at Manchester United under boss Erik ten Hag draws eerie parallels to Cristiano Ronaldo's tumultuous episode at Old Trafford just a year ago. Ten Hag's decision to banish winger Sancho from using the club's facilities stems from an ongoing dispute, and he hopes to prevent a disgruntled player from spreading negativity and disrupting squad harmony. In this regard, it echoes the situation that unfolded with Cristiano Ronaldo.
A year ago, Ronaldo was in a similar predicament when he was exiled from United's facilities after refusing to come on as a substitute during a match. Ten Hag used the incident as an opportunity to assert his authority and maintain discipline within the squad, a pattern now repeating itself with Sancho. However, Ronaldo's case ultimately took a different turn.
After his infamous walk down the tunnel and departure from Old Trafford following United's victory over Spurs, Ronaldo apologized to his teammates for his behavior and was reintegrated into the squad. Sancho now faces a similar path if he hopes to salvage his Manchester United career. Ronaldo's actions a year ago marked a turning point in his relationship with Ten Hag and led to his temporary exclusion from first-team training and matches. The banishment included missing a key Premier League clash against Chelsea.
Ronaldo faced widespread criticism for his behavior, with many of his club teammates expressing dismay. It was a pivotal moment that accelerated the deterioration of his relationship with the manager. During his suspension, Ronaldo even attempted to access his locker to retrieve his flip-flops, but Ten Hag denied him permission, necessitating the intervention of a youth-team player.
Ultimately, Ronaldo's rocky tenure under Ten Hag culminated in his departure from Manchester United in November of the same year, seven months before his contract expired. His exit followed a fiery interview in which he openly criticized the club and its management on Piers Morgan's show. As Jadon Sancho navigates his current predicament, he finds himself at a crossroads similar to the one Cristiano Ronaldo faced a year ago. Whether he can mend fences, like Ronaldo did, remains to be seen.