Jadon Sancho: The Englishman topping the assists chart

It appears every weekend we’re talking about Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho but there’s a reason for it. The Englishman once again grabbed the headlines in BVB’s 4-2 win against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday evening after Lucien Favre’s side fought back from two goals down. Just 70 seconds after his introduction in the second-half, Sancho assisted Marco Reus for the important equaliser before Paco Alcacer added two late goals to win it for Dortmund.

The Spaniard’s second of the evening was also assisted by Sancho, taking his tally to five for the season which puts him at the top of the European assists chart ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Remarkable considering he’s done it in just six appearances and 125 minutes of first team football this season for Borussia Dortmund.

Against Leverkusen on Saturday, Favre’s Dortmund seemed lost for ideas against a defensively robust Heiko Herrlich side. The introduction of Sancho in the second-half added some much-needed energy to Borussia Dortmund’s attack and it’s a substitution that the 18-year-old hopes will put him in the running for his first start of the season.

“Obviously, I don’t want to be a sub – but if I keep on working hard hopefully I can get in the starting XI,” Sancho told Bundesliga.com. “Because I got subbed on, I had a lot of energy. I saw Marco Reus – he and I link up very well – I trusted him and he trusted me. After the first lay-off, one-two, it was an easy goal.

“The rest were a bit tired and I came on to help the team. The coach keeps rotating so that’s how strong this team is. Obviously, I don’t want to be a sub – but if I keep on working hard hopefully I can get in the starting XI,” he added.

Reus’ equaliser against Leverkusen was the second time Sancho has assisted the German and so it’s clear the duo have worked up a special relationship on the pitch. The Englishman also praised his teammate, who has helped him settle into life in Germany.

“We just have that special connection,” said Sancho. “He reads me, I read him, and he teaches me a lot of things. He teaches me to be mature on the ball. At first I wasn’t mature but he told me to be calm and just play my game, and that helped me a lot. Obviously, he’s a great player and I’m so happy I’m playing with him.”

After defeat to Hertha BSC on Friday night, Bayern Munich lost their place at the top of the Bundesliga to Borussia Dortmund, who seem to be on form with a fit and firing Reus again.

The Germany international has played well in his new role at Dortmund under Favre, who has given Reus much more freedom to move around the pitch in the final-third. His brace against Bayer Leverkusen was his third and fourth goal of the Bundesliga campaign while Reus also has four assists to his name. The 29-year-old also praised Sancho’s progress this season.

“It’s just crazy. I think it’s incredibly important that he comes off the bench and does so well every time,” said Reus. “When our opponents ease off a little and Jadon comes into the game, he’s a weapon for us every single time. We’re happy to have him up our sleeve and he always gives us a boost.”

Reclaiming top spot for the time being, Borussia Dortmund will be hoping they can make that position their own if performances are to continue as they have been. Favre’s side have done well going forward but they struggle to break teams down that like to sit back – which is why it may be wise for Sancho to start in the future. The Englishman offers a different dynamic while teams are yet to work out how to defend against the youngster, which makes Dortmund’s front line unpredictable yet entertaining.

If Borussia Dortmund are to challenge, then they need to shore up their defence a little but it’s a work in progress. In Favre’s short time at the club, BVB have come on leaps and bounds while the Klassiker against Bayern Munich in November will really let us know just where Borussia Dortmund are in terms of their ability to challenge for the Bundesliga title.

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