Erik ten Hag has made a disturbing confession about Jadon Sancho (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag says Jadon Sancho is “stricken physically and mentally” and admits he is unsure when he will be ready to return to the Manchester United first team.

Sancho, who joined Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund for £73 million in the summer of 2021, looked poised for a breakthrough season at United after scoring three goals before the international break in September.

But Ten Hag says he has seen a setback in Sancho’s performance after he was passed over for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Nations League ahead of the World Cup.

Sancho, who was later omitted from the Three Lions’ World Cup squad, missed United’s last four mid-season games before the Qatar tournament and was absent from the club’s two-game tour of Spain while pursuing his own fitness program worked. . .

Asked for an update on Sancho – Manchester United’s return on December 21 with a League Cup tie against Burnley – Ten Hag said: “I don’t think he will be back this week, no.

“We want him back as soon as possible, but I can’t predict when that will be.

“Sometimes there are conditions with condition and mood. We have a drop in the quality level and sometimes you don’t know why or what the cause is.

Jadon Sancho may be out for Manchester United

Jadon Sancho could be out for Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

“We’re doing that now to try and get him back there. It’s a combination of physical and mental.”

Several of Sancho’s Manchester United teammates have competed in the World Cup, including England regulars Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, and Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are still at the tournament.

Ten Hag is unsure whether England’s rejection was the main factor behind Sancho’s downfall, but says he understands Southgate’s decision to seek World Cup reinforcements elsewhere.

“There is huge competition with England,” adds the former Ajax manager. “Even in the World Cup it’s hard to know who should start each game because there’s so much talent in the line of scrimmage.

“If you don’t show it week in, week out, you can fall out of the squad and that’s what happened.”

Manchester United are currently fifth in the English top flight and will resume their Premier League season against Nottingham Forest on December 27.