Rio Ferdinand believes it’s ‘a matter of time’ before Jadon Sancho shows the form that convinced Man United to fork out £73m for him as he points out that old team-mates Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic didn’t perform instantly
- Jadon Sancho has struggled to make an impact since joining Manchester United
- Winger has lost his place in the United side and was then dropped by England
- Rio Ferdinand said it is only natural the winger should need to acclimatise
- He highlighted experiences of Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic at the club
Rio Ferdinand is confident it is ‘a matter of time’ before Jadon Sancho shows the form that persuaded Manchester United to pay £73million for him.
Sancho has lost his place in the United side and was dropped last week by England manager Gareth Southgate.
Ferdinand, however, said it is only natural the winger should need to acclimatise to his new club and pointed to the examples of Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic, his two former United club-mates who needed time to impress at Old Trafford.
Jadon Sancho has struggled to make an impact since joining Manchester United in the summer
The former United defender also insisted Sancho cannot allow the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo to overwhelm his talent.
‘He can only look at that as a plus point,’ Ferdinand told Sportsmail. ‘He can’t look at someone like Ronaldo being in your dressing room, being able to work alongside him [as a negative].
‘He is, I reckon, the most decisive footballer we’ve ever seen. His natural habits around the training ground, copy his preparation. You have to be a sponge like that.
‘For Jadon, Marcus [Rashford] and Mason [Greenwood], those three attacking players, they should be especially soaking this up. Even these first 11 goals [from Ronaldo] which they’ve seen, that would be enough [to teach them].
Sancho has lost his place in the Manchester United side and was then dropped by England
‘There’s no doubting Jadon’s ability, no doubting his desire. That’s all there. But sometimes when you go to a football club you need all the other bits of the jigsaw to fit in. And at the moment they aren’t fitting in to their perfect places. I think that will come, I think that will be a matter of time.
‘Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic are the examples that he needs to lean on and be shown.
‘There are loads of players that came into United and didn’t [perform straight away]. Patrice and Nemanja are two great examples from my generation.’
Rio Ferdinand (top) highlighted experiences of former team-mates Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic (centre) who excelled following slow starts at Old Trafford
Ferdinand was speaking in Peckham, where he grew up, while filming a new BT film which attempts to explain the seemingly exponential rise of south London footballers. The documentary, on which Ferdinand served as executive producer, includes interviews with Sancho (Camberwell), Tammy Abraham (Camberwell) and Joe Gomez (Lewisham).
South Of The River also features Michail Antonio (Earlsfield), Ademola Lookman (Peckham), Eberechi Eze (Greenwich), Ryan and Steven Sessegnon (Wandsworth). Film-makers might have spoken to Declan Rice (Kingston), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Lewisham), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Morden) and Emile Smith Rowe (Croydon), too.
Come the World Cup in Qatar next year, it is possible Sancho, Rice, Gomez, Abraham, Smith Rowe and Hudson-Odoi will all feature for the national team.
Evra (right) soon became an integral member of United’s first-team at left-back
Sancho and Hudson-Odoi have already won the Under 17 World Cup together and Lookman won the Under 20 World Cup, so any future England success might have a distinct south London feel.
‘They have a culture growing up together, winning together and knowing how to win tournaments,’ said Ferdinand.
‘These guys have a great culture that they’ve built over years. They’ve done it in style as kids growing up and they’re trying to convert that now to the first team. They’ve got ever so close in the last two tournaments now and we hope they go one step further when they get there again.’
South Of The River, a three-part docuseries and the latest instalment in the BT Sport Films series, will premiere on BT Sport 1 on November 23.