Man Utd: 2021/22 season preview
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Manchester United new boy Jadon Sancho has declared that he is motivated by the prospect of facing Lionel Messi and the rest of Paris Saint-Germain’s star-studded line-up in the Champions League this season. The French heavyweights have made a number of high-profile signings this summer, with the majority of their business coming in the form of free transfers.
Messi joined the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Sergio Ramos in signing for PSG after the expiry of his previous contract at Barcelona.
The Catalan giants were unable to commit to a new deal as a result of La Liga restrictions, with their precarious financial situation also playing a significant role in their failure to retain the mercurial 34-year-old.
Messi will be aiming to win his fifth Champions League title with the Parisian giants, who can now deploy a front three consisting of the Argentina skipper, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Reflecting on the six-time Ballon d’Or winner’s recent move, Sancho revealed that he was taken aback by the news and admitted that it has given him a reason to prove that he belongs in the same conversation.
“I think I use that as motivation,” the 21-year-old told BT Sport.
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“PSG are a great side, they’ve got great players like Mbappe, Neymar and now Messi. As a young player I’m looking at that like: ‘Woah’.
“That means I’ve got to step up my game and try to show the world that, although I’m not at that level yet, I can get to that level.
“And especially it’s good competition and every young player should thrive for big games like that. So if we ever did face them in the Champions League I will be buzzing.
“I’ll be ready to go. But yeah, they’ve got a great side, definitely.”
Sancho has missed the vast majority of United’s pre-season as a result of his involvement for England at Euro 2020.
The former Borussia Dortmund winger played three matches over the course of the tournament and was one of the unsuccessful penalty-takers in the final against Italy.
However, he is now looking ahead to the new campaign, with the Red Devils man underlining his desire to get off to a flyer against Leeds United on his Premier League debut on Saturday.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this move to happen, so I’m glad it’s over now and I can get ready to start the season against Leeds,” he said.
“I’m buzzing, I feel ready. Today in training I felt sharp and hopefully I can get introduced into the game on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently suggested that Sancho is likely to start from the bench for the visit of Leeds, who will be looking to spoil the party in front of around 75,000 fans at Old Trafford.
“He has had a holiday after the European Championships and then he has been a little sick, unfortunately,” Solskjaer told reporters when quizzed on Sancho’s availability earlier this week.
“He has had one-and-a-half training sessions with us, so he has not trained much. It may take some time before he gets into top shape, but throughout the season he will be very important to us.
“He is a player I am sure will give us many happy moments in the years to come.”
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