Sancho is an example to any young disillusioned English player
Jadon Sancho has agreed a new deal at Borussia Dortmund worth £190,000 per week. Imagine where he would be had he remained at Manchester City?
The swashbuckling winger has been outstanding for manager Lucien Favre after making his proper breakthrough in the 2018-19 Bundesliga season.
Sancho made a few appearances under Favre’s predecessor Thomas Tuchel, but it was Favre who gave the London-born winger licence to express himself and game time to showcase the world his huge level of talent.
It is a remarkable story and one which should inspire may other youngsters who could end up in the same boat.
Sancho started out at Watford at the age of seven. He quickly became a known figure in his teenage years and subsequently joined Manchester City aged 14 for a fee of around £66,000 under the Elite Player Performance Plan.
He was promised the world at City; money, first-team football and a big future in the English game.
However, Sancho wised up quickly, and at the tender age of 17, decided City was no longer the right club for him.
That is a brave call when the oil-rich club can offer young players the sort of contract that most senior pros can only dream of.
▶️ 43 appearances
⚽️ 13 goals
🅰️ 19 assists
…19 years old 🙏
Jadon Sancho set the Bundesliga on fire last season 🔥 pic.twitter.com/BEdbj03iMW
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 16, 2019
What followed was an even braver move – he decided to up sticks and move to Germany to play for Borussia Dortmund; a move almost unprecedented for English players his age.
The switch paid off in a matter of months though. Sancho – already a highly regarded England youth player – debuted for the first time in a Bundesliga match in October 2017 against Frankfurt.
Last season was when he picked up all the accolades though. A new deal was offered and signed in October, a maiden England call up came the same month, and the links to so-called bigger clubs dominated the papers, ironically with City included.
It is impossible to gaze at the Sancho situation without pondering the counterfactual – what would have happened had Sancho, like so many talented players, decided to stay put and fight for a place in the first team?
Would he have been at Phil Foden’s level – a semi-regular yet dependable performer?
Or would his opportunities have been even more limited than that? Would have been sent out on loan, or would he just be in the under-23 side gathering dust?
Sancho’s bravery and ambition should serve as a lesson to all young players. Take risks and the rewards could be massive.
Lots of players have been doing the same recently; Ademola Lookman penned a permanent deal with RB Leipzig, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe have both returned to Arsenal from the Bundesliga.
Jonjoe Kenny has gone the other way to join Schalke, and lesser known talents such as Marcus McGuane, Jonathan Panzo and Keanan Bennetts are plying their trade on the continent.
Sancho, though, is the real trailblazer and has earned the respect of his peers around the globe for doing so.