JADON SANCHO became the first English player ever to join Borussia Dortmund when he made a shock switch from Manchester City on deadline day.
The 17-year-old put pen to paper on a long-term deal with the German side and took the vacant No.7 shirt, which was previously worn by Ousmane Dembele.
Our friends at Football Whispers have profiled the promising youngster.
Sancho grew up in London and was part of the Watford academy between the 2007 and 2015, before moving to Manchester City aged 15.
“After school I always just wanted to play football,” he said.“Around me a lot of people were doing some bad things, but I didn’t want anything to do with that.”
Under the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) – strategy designed to improve youth football in England – City paid an initial fee of £66,000, potentially rising to £500,000 with add-ons and Watford are understood to have agreed a ten per cent sell-on fee – meaning they would have got part of the £9million fee which saw him move to Dortmund.
After arriving in Manchester, his career went from strength to strength. He scored twice on his debut for their under-18 side, but it was the 2016/17 season where he started to shine, scoring 20 goals in 35 games for City’s youth team.
It wasn’t just at club level the winger was impressing though.
In this summer’s Under-17 European Championships, he finished with five goals and five assists as England were beaten by Spain on penalties in the final.
He was head and shoulders above everyone else there and was named Player of the Tournament.
And being named UEFA’s Golden Player puts him in some esteemed company for that tournament, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos previously winning it.
That’s not to say everyone with the award is so successful; just look at Nuri Sahin, Bojan Krkic or Connor Wickham.
They’re all professionals, but none of them are thought of as an exceptional talent.
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But Manchester City clearly thought highly of him, backing him to go down the same path as Fabregas or Kroos rather than Wickham.
Back in May, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak claimed he was one of three players who should be a Manchester City first-team player under Pep Guardiola soon.
“This year we have three or four players who we can genuinely believe have a very good chance of making it to the first team,” he said.
“You look at Sancho, you look at Phil Foden, you look at Brahim Diaz, just to name a few. These are players that are extremely talented. These are players who have a very good chance of making it to the first team.
“And these are players that if you ask Pep today, he will tell you they can, and will, be first-team players at Manchester City.”
But soon after then it went wrong, with Sancho worrying his path to the first team was blocked and asking for a move away from Manchester, with talk that he wanted to return to London.
That saw Foden and Diaz travel to the United States with the first-team squad while Sancho stayed behind.
And with his omission from the tour due to his desire to leave, Sancho barely turned up for training throughout August as he tried to force a move away from the club.
That saw him subject of Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumours, but City were reluctant to sell to another club in England, instead doing business with Dortmund.
And when Tottenham face Dortmund next week in the Champions League, Spurs fans won’t have to worry about their failure to land one of the hottest prospects around at the moment.
That is because Sancho, as well as the injured Marco Reus, was not named in Dortmund’s squad for Europe’s elite competition for the group stage, although they can both be added should they reach the knockout stage.
Sancho’s omission isn’t because Dortmund haven’t been impressed with him though.
As a 17-year-old, there are a few bureaucratic hoops for Sancho and his club to jump through before he is granted a playing permit.
And until FIFA have confirmed that Dortmund’s teaching facilities are up to scratch, Sancho will be stuck on the sidelines.
Perhaps this season is too early for him though, even if Borussia Dortmund do give youth a chance, but in the coming seasons, it will be no surprise to see him lighting up Europe’s elite competition.
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