Rio Ferdinand believes Jadon Sancho can be “like a new signing” for Manchester United and give the squad a lift heading into a crucial few weeks of the season.
Sancho made his first appearance since October when he came off the bench a week ago against Nottingham Forest as United booked their place in the Carabao Cup final.
At the start of the year, Erik ten Hag said Sancho was not physically or mentally ready to be a part of the first-team squad, having spent the World Cup on an individual training camp in the Netherlands.
The updates have been more positive in recent weeks though and Sancho has now joined up again with his team-mates, making his return to competitive action.
United face Barcelona across two legs in the Europa League play-off round before a Wembley clash against Newcastle at the end of the month, and Ferdinand is confident Sancho will have a part to play.
“Jadon Sancho is back in the squad and if he can get back playing to his best it will be like a new signing for the club,” Ferdinand told William Hill.
“If you get someone like him, with the talent he has, playing to his best, he’s a threat for any team – his ability to cause defenders problems.
“In the short-term it also makes United a lot more competitive in general. The United bench over the last month hasn’t been at its most strongest so having Sancho back gives Erik ten Hag a new option to turn to in the coming weeks.
“He didn’t come on against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but the manager will be turning to him in the coming weeks so he’ll have the opportunities to build up some form.”