He bagged a brace in England’s opening game of the FIFA U17s World Cup, a 4-0 victory over Chile, but exactly who is Jadon Sancho?
During August’s hectic transfer window, much of the hype was around the millions of Euros, in fact hundreds of millions, changing hands at Barcelona.
Out went Neymar to Paris Saint Germain, becoming the world’s most expensive player, and in came the man who would fill the void left by the Brazilian, Ousmane Dembélé.
The 20-year-old Frenchman from Borussia Dortmund would command the world’s second highest transfer fee. But while the Camp Nou needed a marquee name to satisfy their passionate and expectant fans, the Bundesliga clubs’ approach was different.
Their eyes were on the future, and the new owner of Dembele’s vacated no.7 shirt at Westfalenstadion would be a young Englishman by the name of Jadon Sancho.
Remember the name: Jadon Sancho ??? pic.twitter.com/rByqLQOwxL
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) October 8, 2017
The London-born teenager was fresh from helping England U17s reach the UEFA Championship final. The Manchester City starlet’s five goals and five assists in six games in Croatia were almost enough to take the Young Lions to the title, but their hopes were dashed in the final as they went down on penalties to Spain.
Nonetheless, Sancho had certainly made people sit up and take note, and his displays earned him the player of the tournament award, joining illustrious past winners such as Toni Kroos, Cesc Fabregas and Wayne Rooney.
Sancho started out at Watford’s youth set-up before he was snapped up by Manchester City in March 2015 as he was about to turn 15. The left-sided forward showed immediately what he was about and bagged 15 goals in 19 starts for City’s Under-18s and added another five in 12 games for the Under-21s, while also earning international honours with England.
This summer, though, following his exploits for the Young Lions, Dortmund came calling and it was a move he couldn’t turn down, signing his first professional contract.
“It was a difficult decision but the time is right for a new challenge where I can start to fulfil my potential,” said Sancho after his deadline day move.
He’s yet to feature for the first team, but has played for his new club’s second string, so there’s plenty of time in front of him to live up to his promise.
For now, though, his thoughts are on the U17s World Cup. And after being named in Steve Cooper’s 21-man squad for the tournament in India, he netted two sweet goals and laid on an assist as England brushed aside Chile on Sunday. Next up is Mexico on Wednesday.
Sancho really does have the world at his feet.