• Man Utd have won 9 out of their last 10 games in all competitions
  • Jadon Sancho's last appearance for Man Utd was back in October
  • Sancho scored 2 goals in Man Utd's first 5 league games

Manchester United forward Jadon Sancho is "not fit enough" at the moment and the club will be "patient" with him, boss Erik ten Hag has said.

Sancho, who made a sensational $87 million move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United in the 2021 summer window, has struggled to justify his price tag at Old Trafford. The English playmaker had a slow start to his new life in Manchester as he made just 14 appearances for the Red Devils in his maiden season, scoring three goals and providing an assist.

The 22-year-old winger bounced back in Manchester United's pre-season tours to Australia and Thailand, before starting the 2022-23 campaign on a high as well. Sancho netted two goals in Manchester United's opening five league games before falling out of form post the September international break.

Sancho has not featured for Manchester United since their 1-1 Premier League draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Oct. 22.

In an interview ahead of the Red Devils' FA Cup meeting with Everton, Ten Hag said the process of handling cases like Sancho's is time-taking as "footballers are not robots."

"There are some processes you can't force and this is one of them. Football players aren't robots. No one is the same and you need an individual approach. We thought that, in cooperation with Jadon, this was the best choice," Ten Hag told reporters.

It has been only 18 months since Sancho featured in Gareth Southgate's England that played the Euro 2020 final. Manchester United have won nine of their 10 matches in all competitions in Sancho's absence, with the young winger currently following an individual training program created to get him back to the level required to play in the Premier League.

"With the physical, there's also a connection of mental. I think he's now making good progress on the physical part and that will help him. I hope he can return quickly but I can't say how long it will be. At this moment, he is not fit enough, no," added Ten Hag.

In a bid to bring his club career back on track, it is understood that Sancho recently worked in the Netherlands with coaches closely associated with the Dutch boss Ten Hag.

It was earlier reported Sancho had returned to Manchester United's training base in Carrington.

While Ten Hag said that Sancho was "making progress" and was "ready for the next step," the head coach did not mention any particular return date for the winger.

"We have some hurdles to take but I think he's (going) in a good direction. I would be really happy the moment he returns to the squad for team training. That's the next step," added Ten Hag.

Jadon Sancho, Manchester United

Manchester United are set to host Everton in their FA Cup third-round game on Friday at Old Trafford. The Red Devils will then take on Charlton in the League Cup quarter-final on Jan. 10. After this, Ten Hag and Co are scheduled for two big games: Premier League clashes with Manchester City (Jan. 14) and Arsenal (Jan. 22).