Jadon Sancho’s future at Manchester United may be in doubt after he used social media to take issue with Erik ten Hag’s reasoning for leaving him out of the squad that lost 3-1 at Arsenal, describing himself as a “scapegoat”.

The forward seemed to accuse his manager of misrepresenting the facts behind his omission, which came after he had featured as a substitute in United’s first three matches. Ten Hag picked a bench light on attacking experience at the Emirates Stadium with debutant Rasmus Højlund, Alejandro Garnacho and the relatively untested Facundo Pellistri among the replacements, saying afterwards that Sancho had been dropped due to “his performances in training”.

Sancho wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that [are] completely untrue. I have conducted myself in training very well this week. I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t go into, I have been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!

“All I want to do is play football with a smile on my face and contribute to my team. I respect all decisions that are made by the coaching staff, I play with fantastic players and [I’m] grateful to do so which I know every week is a challenge. I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what!”

Speaking after his team’s defeat, Ten Hag rejected any idea Sancho was left at home for disciplinary reasons and explained he did not reach the standard required in recent practice sessions. “You have to reach a level every day at Manchester United and we can make choices in the front line,” he said. “So for this game he was not selected.”

Sancho joined United in July 2021 in a high-profile £73m move from Borussia Dortmund but he has rarely found his best form, losing his England place in the process. Ten Hag, who gave him three months off first-team duty last winter to deal with what the Dutchman termed “physical but also mental” issues, urged him during pre-season to produce with greater consistency at the top level.