A reunited teammate, a big hug, and an ass-kicking welcome

Jadon Sancho is excited to be leaving Manchester United.

“Sancho was given a warm welcome in the locker room as he hugged his teammates after leaving United and returning to his hometown club Borussia Dortmund on loan,” the British publication The Sun reported on Wednesday.

Sancho’s first entrance into the locker room, which was released by the club itself, sparked a fierce reaction from many players, including seniors Marco Reus and Giovanni Reina.

His meeting with Royce, the club’s living legend, was particularly memorable.

In the video, Sancho embraces Royce in an emotional reunion. Sancho asks Royce, “How are you?” to which Royce responds, “Welcome home.” As Sancho left to find a spot in the locker room, Lois playfully kicked him in the butt, demonstrating their close friendship.

Sancho couldn’t believe he was back at Dortmund after his suspension, and he hugged Royce for a long time.

Sancho began his football career as a youth player at English Premier League giants Manchester City, but was forced to make his professional debut at Dortmund due to the stiff competition within the City organization. Making his first appearance in the German top flight Bundesliga in 2017/18, Sancho went on to excel at Dortmund over the next four seasons.

With 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 appearances, he became one of Dortmund’s best wingers, and the club won the 2020-2021 DFB-Pokal with Sancho on board. The club even sold him to Manchester United in the 2021-2022 season, earning a record £73 million in transfer fees.

The relationship between the two parties couldn’t have gone better, given the quality of Sancho’s performances at Dortmund and the transfer fee he earned.

However, Sancho has repeatedly struggled at United. In particular, his up-and-down form and mental attitude have been a major issue. He scored just 12 goals and provided six assists in 82 appearances in just over two seasons before earning a one-match suspension in early September that drew the ire of United manager Eric Dier.

In training, he was frequently disruptive and late to training. His conflict with Turnbach was also due to problems on the training ground.

In September of last year, Turner left Sancho out of the squad for an away game against Arsenal in the fourth round of the 2023-24 Premier League.

In a post-match press conference, Mourinho said, “Sancho was not selected because of his performance in training. At United, you have to reach a certain level every day to be selected. That’s why I left him out of this game,” he said, explaining his decision.

Sancho then posted a statement on social media to counter Turnbach’s claims. “Don’t believe everything people say around you,” he said, adding, “I trained very well this week. There are other reasons (besides training) why I wasn’t called up for the game. I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time,” he said, and publicly fought back.

Turnbach sent the ‘traitor’ home, not only removing him from the first team immediately, but also banishing him from first team facilities, including the training ground and cafeteria. He was not allowed to train with his first-team teammates and, naturally, did not play in any first-team matches.

Sancho never apologized to Turnbach and their relationship deteriorated. Eventually, the conflict was temporarily resolved when Sancho left on loan to Dortmund.

“Sancho’s current contract stipulates that United will pay £100,000 ($167,000) of the player’s £290,000 ($480,000) weekly wages,” according to The Sun, “while Dortmund will pay United £3 million ($5 billion) in loan fees.”

However, contrary to media reports, Dortmund do not have the option to buy Sancho outright.

We’re left to wonder if Sancho will be able to regain his talent in Germany.

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