This week saw the unexpected yet deserved inclusion of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming Uefa Nations League games against Spain and Croatia. With him being a relative unknown to many, it’s worth profiling this exciting attacking talent and detailing why he is in the Bundesliga and not the EPL.
Sancho, at the age of 17, made the brave decision to leave Premier League title favourites Manchester City last summer.
The Cityzens had offered fresh terms and had planned to take him on their pre-season tour of the USA in order to provide him with some game time.
Like many an Englishman before him Sancho decided that his future lay elsewhere after becoming worried that his 1st team involvement would be limited at The Etihad.
The soon-to-be England international joined City from Watford at the age of 14 and played regularly in 2016-17 in the under-18 league and the Uefa Youth League – as well as seven appearances in the Premier League 2, England’s reserve league.
On deadline day in August 2017 the surprise move to Borussia Dortmund came about.
Sancho was instantly given the squad number of 7, left vacant by Ousmane Dembele’s switch to Barcelona. The transfer fee a reported £8m.
The teenager was called up to the England Under-17 World Cup squad in October 2017, although Dortmund were reluctant to allow him to leave to represent his country at this level.
Sancho scored three goals in three group games – but was then recalled by the German club before the knockout stages on the understanding from all parties, including the FA that Sancho was about to be unleashed in the yellow and black.
Sancho duly made his Dortmund debut days later, as a late substitute against Eintracht Frankfurt, and also featured against Bayern Munich two weeks later.
England deservedly went on to win the Under-17 World Cup, with Sancho getting a winner’s medal.
He ended the season with one goal and four assists from 12 Bundesliga games, including seven starts.
The International Champions Cup competition, the new pre-season friendly threw together Sancho and City.
The winger impressed with his quick feet and ability to take men on as the Bundesliga side beat the Premier League champions 1-0 and this set him up for this current season firmly in manager Lucien Favre’s plans.
He has had a brilliant start to the 2018-19 season and has set up more goals than any player in the Bundesliga, the Londoner has set up six league goals in as many appearances.
Sancho has also added his name to a scoresheet with a strike in a 7-0 demolition of Nuremberg recently.
He has started both Champions League games this season.
He has set up a total of eight goals, including one in the German Cup against lower league Greuther Furth.
Rumour also has it, that he has had his wrist slapped for continuously nutmegging his team mates in training, perhaps the exuberance of youth but experience will teach behaviours.
Perhaps most importantly his form has been rewarded with a contract extension seeing him put pen to paper on a deal until 2022.
He could well be the future of the English national side and Man City’s loss could be a nation’s gain.
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