When the reigning Premier League champions see enough potential to justify spending up to £ 650,000 on a 14-year-old, you don’t have to be a football genius to realize the teenager has to be. a a little special.
However, to become a world-class footballer, you need more than just talent. There is a maturity, consistency, and ability to make decisions under pressure that often distinguishes good from brilliant.
Very few players develop these characteristics, and those who tend to be in the later stages of their careers when the penny finally falls – Jadon Sancho has them in abundance at just 20 years old.
While the Borussia Dortmund man’s decision-making on the pitch is one facet of his game that sets him apart from most, it’s his offscreen decision making that gave him the opportunity to realize his enormous potential.
His desire to play first-team football led him to trade Manchester City’s academy for the Bundesliga in 2017, joining Die Borussen in a deal estimated to be worth around £ 10million; and it is a decision that was more than justified.
Sancho is currently one of the hottest properties in European football, with nearly all of the continent’s top clubs vying for his signing. Not only that, he is also a regular in the England setup, with 18 caps and three international goals to show for his efforts so far.
After trading England for Germany, the youngster suffered a debut Bundesliga campaign, with a number of injuries limiting him to just 12 league appearances. However, new boss Lucien Favre had seen enough of the teenager to justify him becoming a regular on the first team in 2018/19, and he certainly didn’t disappoint.
He would end the season with 17 league goals and 12 assists, as Dortmund narrowly missed their first top-flight title in seven years.
The teenager’s sensational form was a huge factor as Der BVB scored 17 goals and 21 more points than in the previous Bundesliga campaign, making the £ 56million departure of talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at mid -path of the 2017/18 season a quality company.
But could he keep his fine form? Often times when talented young players burst onto the scene, there is a tendency to become too dependent on a particular aspect of their game, and experienced league defenders will spot and negate that threat.
Sancho is far from a one-ride pony and it is the reason he’s more than just a prospect.
The Dortmund man would improve his 2018/19 figures the following year, scoring 17 goals and 17 assists as Favre’s men again finished the best of the rest in the German top-flight behind Bayern Munich.
Despite his frenetic pace, Sancho is more than just a merchant of speed. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to carry the ball, but, while most 20-year-olds in throwing heels would be tempted to just kick the ball in front of a full-back and sprint afterwards, he has the mature to use her incredible footwork. , taking simple, light touches as he runs at full fur, knowing he can change direction or feed a teammate at any time.
Then there is its distribution. The England international’s eye for a pass and his ability to execute it is almost disconcerting, with Paco Alcacer, Marco Reus and Erling Haaland all becoming regular beneficiaries of Sancho’s ridiculous ability to perfectly weight a pass.
“Sancho is a player who has everything. He has fantastic speed, great technique, a good eye for his colleagues and that key pass. Everything he does, he succeeds at high speed at the right time. For me, he’s a perfect player. The ability he has is instinctive, natural. You cannot teach this brilliance. “
– Lothar Matthaus
This season, Sancho has struggled a bit to maintain the incredibly high standards he has set himself in the previous two campaigns.
However, in a world where footballers are not seen as “normal people”, the prospect is rarely offered. At just 20, the Dortmund man has endured a summer of constant speculation about his future, with the seemingly endless list of destinations he could have done this season.
Not to mention, in the last two campaigns he has only missed four games for the club – this includes their Bundesliga, Champions League, DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup matches – meaning he played 87 of Dortmund’s 91 games in 2018. / Seasons 19 and 2019/20.
“Jadon is a world class player, no doubt about it – but you have to remember he is only 19 years old [now 20]. It is difficult to be exceptional in every game “
– Lucien Favre
With international commitments also to be fulfilled, perhaps a little too much the pressure is building on the shoulders of a player who is only 20 years old.
However, to be considered in the world class category you have to get up and be counted at the clutch moments, and that’s exactly what Sancho did, contributing two goals and two assists as Dortmund finished top of the league. his recently concluded Champions League group.
So far this season he may not have quite hit the heights of previous years, but that is more a testament to the brilliance of his performances over the past two campaigns than a criticism of his current form. . The class is permanent and he will undoubtedly be back to his best in no time.
The pace of a winger, the cunning of a number ten and the composure of a striker – Sancho is all you could want in a right handed striker.