Borussia Dortmund v VFL Wolfsburg (Man-of-the-Match): Jadon Sancho
Following England u17s success at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup this summer, a lot was made of the youngsters and whether they’ll be given a chance in the first team with their respective clubs.
One of the standout performers was Jadon Sancho and following his own personal success, a move that surprised and shocked many, a £10 million transfer from Manchester City to Germany with Borussia Dortmund.
Making only his second appearance for Dortmund against Wolfsburg today, there was a lot of expectation on the youngster’s shoulders after that big transfer over to Germany and the price tag that came with it.
However, Sancho certainly did not disappoint.
Sancho’s play style is best described as one of your ‘old-school’ wingers – lightning quick with the ability to beat a man almost every time.
According to Sancho himself, his main strength is 1v1’s. This was clear to see in the 90 minutes he played today, further showing his fitness levels as that he hasn’t played in the first team since October.
He spoke recently about how he likes to draw them into making a move before dribbling past them;
“When I get the ball 1v1, I’ll just tease the defender and wait for him to stick a leg in. Then I’ll go past him”
Once the defenders were beaten, Sancho has the composure to find a teammate with a cross or cut-back. This happened on numerous occasions tonight and had Yarmolenko had his shooting boots on, Sancho would’ve had a number of assists to his name.
In a team like Dortmund where they attack with pace, Sancho can be a valuable asset not just when his team have established an attack high up the pitch, but also when transitioning from out of defence.
For England and City last season, Sancho consistently used his pace and dribbling to break at speed and take advantage of the open space available to him on counter-attacks.
Manager Peter Stoger has a history of bringing youth talents through to the first-team with his previous club FC Koln.
Timo Horn, Yannick Gerhardt and Mitchell Weiser are three names who stand out and are current first-team members of their sides (FC Koln, Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin).
With Sancho arguably being an even bigger talent than all three, the potential he could reach is limitless and no doubt he’ll get all the support he needs so long as Stoger remains manager of Dortmund.
Tonight’s game was both Dortmund’s and Sancho’s first of 2018 and with Dortmund’s history of bringing through young talents (Gotze, Gundogan and Reus) hopefully we see more of the promising Sancho as the year goes on.