Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Left wing
Jadon Sancho is making waves in European football, and became a familiar name due to his contract wrangle with Manchester City last summer, eventually making the unexpected £8 million move to German giants Borussia Dortmund.
Beginning his youth career at Watford, Manchester City soon recognised his talents and snapped him up in 2014 to join the youth set up for £250,000, despite being just 14-years-old at the time. The South Londoner claimed his move to City helped him escape a troubled background.
Sancho, despite not being a striker, certainly knows where the goal is. The now 17-year-old scored 12 goals in 14 appearances for City’s U18 side despite playing the majority of his minutes out wide.
Internationally, Sancho has also greatly impressed for his country at youth level and was given the prestigious Golden Player award at the European U17 Championships, which has previously been won by Cesc Fabregas, Wayne Rooney and Toni Kroos. The winger was exceptional in the tournament, helping England to reach the final with five goals and five assists.
Sancho was also crucial in helping City reach the FA Youth Cup final last season, where they lost to Chelsea. Sancho’s performances for the City youth team saw Pep Guardiola call him up for first team training last season, which would have been a huge confidence boost for the youngster.
However, Sancho himself was unconvinced of his chances at breaking into the star-studded City lineup and went somewhat awol, refusing to turn up to training in order to try and force a move.
Tottenham Hotspur looked certain to be Sancho’s next destination however City refused to deal with the London club, and Sancho eventually chose to make the brave move out to Germany.
Why you need to know him
A genuine goal threat from out wide is a sort after commodity in today’s game and Sancho certainly has the potential to be one of those. The teenager has exceptionally quick feet and ball manipulation, turning and twisting in any direction with the ball under his spell, stuck to his feet like glue.
He likes to start wide before cutting in to wreak havoc in central areas and his ability to drift past players like they aren’t there is Raheem Sterling-esque, a player who Sancho says he looks up to.
Once Sancho gets himself into dangerous areas, however, his end product is very good for someone so young. He likes the reverse pass, slipping someone in for a chance and is impossible to defend against when he plays a one-two with a teammate, such is his speed of movement.
Sancho has good appreciation of timing and space and gets himself into goal scoring areas like a poacher, where he usually finishes with composure. When dribbling with the ball and cutting in, Sancho is capable of opening his body and whipping the ball into the far corner or driving it into the ‘keeper’s near post.
Sancho is a wonderful talent who has been making serious inroads with the Dortmund youth side’s and is currently impressing at the under 17 World Cup.
He was arguably the best player on the pitch in the Three Lions’ opening 4-0 victory over Chile scoring with two expert finishes and setting up another. He is one of many English youngsters born this century who you should keep a keen eye on.
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