With the pressure on Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reaching boiling point, a disappointing result against Watford over the weekend could see his tenure come to a close.
The Red Devils have failed to put in a convincing display since their curtain-raising demolition of Leeds United, losing six games in all competitions – including a humiliating defeat at the hands of fierce rivals Liverpool.
Speculation surrounding Solskjaer’s future has continued to mount in recent days, with Brendan Rodgers appearing as the frontrunner to take over the Old Trafford hot seat unless things drastically improve.
It was meant to be the season that United moved away from their transitional period under the Norwegian and blossomed into a genuine title contender, but that ambition has now become as distant as ever before.
The 20-time English champions are currently sitting in sixth position in the Premier League table, nine points behind league leaders Chelsea as their hopes of a first top-flight crown in eight years lie in tatters.
But the solution to at least some of Solskjaer’s woes could be a relatively simple one. After a drawn-out two-year pursuit, United finally secured Jadon Sancho’s signature over the summer, splashing out £73m to prise him away from Borussia Dortmund.
And yet after his eventual arrival, it appears as though the 48-year-old tactician has no real plan of how or where to use the £350k-per-week earner.
Admittedly, the surprise arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo late in the window may have scuppered some of Solskjaer’s original plans for Sancho, but given time and a consistent run of games, there’s no doubt he will produce top-class displays week in week out.
During his time in Germany, the youngster contributed a quite ridiculous 50 goals and 64 assists in 137 appearances for BVB, claiming the DFB-Pokal along the way, leading to Owen Hargreaves claiming his “potential is off the charts.”
However, he’s failed to start more than two Premier League games in a row in the opening months of the current campaign, completing the full 90 minutes on just one occasion in all competitions for Solskjaer’s struggling side.
When players are adapting to a new set of teammates, a different league and a new style of play, it often takes time for them to find their best form before they hit the same heights they did so readily at their previous club.
For Sancho, it will undoubtedly be a similar process. Time is not something that Solskjaer currently has on his side, though, so the temptation to stick with tried and tested methods is a natural instinct.
Nevertheless, his ability to win a game with a moment of genius and truly world-class potential warrants a show of faith from the under-fire Scandinavian; he could just save his job in return.