The tale of Jadon Sancho if told a thousand time will seize to lack it allures. This is because of the peculiarity that characterize the unstoppable rise of the player. From a street footballer around the hood at Kenington, to become a player at one of the greatest clubs and a key promising talent in the 21st century world of football, the journey of Jadon Sancho is far beyond been a walk in the park.
“There’s no rules to street soccer. I was just free styling, finding ways to nutmeg people.” Sancho said while relaying information about his antecedent. Discovered during a camp in Battersea, Jadon swift development at Watford attracted offers and at 14, he had made a switch to Manchester City.
The stiff competitiveness of a team like Manchester City is quite glaring to all and sundry and as a teenage player at that time who is still trying to find his feet, it became an arduous task to break into Pep Guardiola’s team. Albeit, he had an impressive 3 seasons with City’s youth team that culminated in winning the U-17 World Cup with England in 2017, it still looked like a mammoth task to join the gang of Kün Agüero, Fernandinho, Vincent Kompany who in their prime produced one of the best squad in Europe.
But his talent would not go unnoticed and given the status-quo at that time, it was high time he left in sought of another challenge which birthed his move to Borussia Dortmund for a fee around the region of £7million including add-ons. “I felt it was time to seek another challenge.” Sancho expressed the gravamen for his departure from the Citizens.
The transfer to Dortmund in 2017 formed the genesis and revelation of who Jadon Sancho actually is. Much thanks to his resolute mindset at the time when unending criticism appalling sayings about his departure from City and England almost made him develop cold feet. Sancho divulged the information of the diminutive manner in which his move to Germany was greeted in the following words: “When I left Manchester, there were a lot of people that doubted me, saying it’s too early to leave England. It’s a big club. I might not play. That it was very rare for an English player to do well in Germany.”
The first English man to play for a German club, turning deaf ears to these asseverations became the best bet in the quest of an illustrious career. No sooner had he landed in Germany, he began to hit his stride and has over the years emerged as a transcendent footballer with overwhelming potentials.
Within the 21-year-old’s 4 years stay at Signal Iduna Park, he recorded a tantalising feat; notching half a century goals and creating 67 in 137 appearances, in addition to winning the DFB Pokal Cup in 2020/21 season. No surprise Jurgen Klopp ascribed him as an “exceptional talent” and went on to appreciate his potentials in these words: “These days, he’s regarded as the best player in the world born in the 21st century. There’s nobody younger who is better.”
Gifted with deluge of qualities: Pace, dribbles, versatility, strength etc, the young Sancho has optimally advertised himself to the world at the biggest stages football (Bundesliga, Champions League etc) thus, triggering interests from leading clubs in Europe such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea to mention but a few.
Moving to United in 2020 could not see the light of day mainly as a result of United’s financial constraints in the covid-hit 2020/21 season. However, one of the most drawn-out transfer sagas in recent age finally came to an end after the Red Devils agreed a £73 million fee with Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho.
Filled with delight, Manchester United supporters greeted the deal with a lot of ovation. Jadon Sancho now a United player, but will he replicate his Germany’s success with Borussia Dortmund in England with Manchester United?.
The Red Devils long absence of a versatile player that can revolve around the opponents danger box have now gone to the history books as one exiting feature embedded in their new signing is versatility. From the left flank, he’s good. The right wing, he’s a perfect player. Filling the attacking midfield position, he delivers. What more can you expect from a player who has these qualities?.
Albeit he played more often from the left flank during his sojourn at Dortmund where he not only unleashed the extent of his creativity but also formed a formidable partnership with Norwegian Erling Haaland which produced a combined total of 85-goal contributions in the last campaign. The fact that he however fits in at the other positions mentioned above when need be for Dortmund, indeed gives United something to cheer about as the versatile nature of Sancho brings in a unique feature in United’s attacking department.
Hence, Lucien Favre’s statement corroborating the above assertion on Sancho’s creative and versatile nature is apt at this instance. “He can play short, he can play long. He can play with one touch. He can dribble in front of the goal, he can use his head. He destabilizes the other team.” Former Dortmund’s coach said.
In a dissenting line of reasoning, some school of thought posits that the issue of quick adaptation to Premier League style serves as a big impediment towards Sancho attaining success at Old Trafford. But the argument seems not to look like one that can hold water. The reason been that Jadon is a player brought up in Kennington, London and having rose through the ranks at Watford, tasting more of English football at City though at the youth level; coupled with the fact that he represents the England national team where he trains, plays alongside Premier League players on England Stadium (Wembley), these suffices to debunk the assertion of Jadon Sancho having hiccups in acclimatizing with the Premier League football.
Going down the memory lane, Manchester United have sought the service of similar players to Sancho who occupies similar wing positions with him. The likes of Memphis Depay, Anthony Martial. Memphis may have failed to live up to expectations at United, while coarseness, sluggishness may have pervaded Martial start to life at Old Trafford. But Sancho remains distinct from the two as he has consistently maintained a high flying form in the past years unlike Memphis and Martial who bursted to limelight in a twinkle of an eye without standing the test of time before making the “big move”. This put Sancho in a better position to excel and ultimately revive United fallen European glory.