Borussia Dortmund and England youth international Jadon Sancho once again propelled himself into the headlines with a sublime performance against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday night.
Introduced on the hour mark, it took Sancho just 12 minutes to assist Marius Wolf to put Dortmund back in the lead. The 18-year-old played a key role in the goal with just three touches. Marco Reus dropped deep, bringing the defender with him which allowed Sancho space in behind. One first touch, a Ronaldo chop and a cross within seconds, Sancho found Wolf at the far post to fire past Eintracht’s Kevin Trapp.
Sancho also played a role in Paco Alcacer’s debut goal. The Englishman dribbled past two opposing defenders before finding Dortmund’s new signing, who found the net and Dortmund’s third via a deflection.
Following the game, Lucien Favre was happy with Borussia Dortmund’s performance despite their lack of creativity going forward before the introduction of Sancho.
“In the second half we were really eager to get the score to 2-0 as soon as possible, but we had a lot of trouble keeping the ball and controlling the match against the opposition’s pressing game. We lost patience and that’s what cost us our 1-0 lead,” said Favre.
“The substitutions gave us a sense of vigour. The goal which took the score to 2-1 was a really nice, well-worked goal. That’s when the team was firing once more.”
There’s no doubt that Sancho is becoming an important member of this Borussia Dortmund team. In just 781 minutes and 14 games in all competitions, the former Manchester City man has one goal and seven assists.
Playing time is certainly aplenty and it’s no surprise that Sancho is enjoying life in Germany. Consecutive champions between 2010-12, Borussia Dortmund have a wealth of playing time available and in just short glimpses, Sancho has shown what he can offer the team.
Prior to his introduction against Eintracht Frankfurt, BVB looked slow in attack which allowed the opposing defence to dispossess Dortmund with relative ease. The introduction of Sancho injected much needed pace and creativity into their attack with Reus occupying the No. 10 role, something of which we could see more often.
With Champions League football to contend with alongside a relatively small squad in attacking areas, we may just see a lot more of Sancho while his performances have certainly put him in the limelight with fans calling for him to start.
Jadon Sancho’s life in Germany
As one of Manchester City’s hottest prospects, his decision to move to Germany and join Borussia Dortmund certainly raised questions amongst the British press. To have the potential to play under Pep Guardiola is great in itself but with plenty of attacking talent ahead of him in the pecking order, Sancho instead opted to move abroad in search of first team football.
The youth setup in Dortmund is second-to-none while they have a clear emphasis on developing youth players. Their coaching staff have put a lot of work into their youth academy while Favre’s appointment could get the best out of Sancho, just like the Swiss tactician did at Borussia Monchengladbach with Reus, where he earned his Bundesliga debut.
Signing for Borussia Dortmund as a 17-year-old, Borussia Dortmund had splashed around £8 million on the youngster, who had reportedly turned down a £30,000 a week offer from Manchester City. Sancho could easily have chosen to remain in the Premier League but first team football certainly wasn’t a guarantee.
With the money within the English top flight, Sancho’s case is just one of many where youngsters aren’t given the chance to shine. Hence not only Sancho’s move to the Bundesliga, but Reece Oxford and Ademola Lookman while the latest is Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson, who has joined TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on a season-long loan.
It’s something that we’re seeing a lot more of and it’s certainly working. The Bundesliga is one of the top leagues watched around the world despite Bayern Munich’s dominance while it’s a league that is willing to give players a chance.
And with his performances this season under Favre, surely England manager Gareth Southgate has been keeping an eye on the progression of 18-year-old Sancho and if his performances excel as they have been, there is no reason as to why he won’t be included in the full national team within the next six months while others could follow.
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