Jadon Sancho is undoubtedly one of the hottest talents in world soccer at the moment. He turned heads with some dazzling performances in the Bundesliga between 2017-2021 with Borussia Dortmund, which eventually earned him a mega-money move to English heavyweights Manchester United in a deal thought to be around $100 Million. This is some price tag for a player only aged 21. He’s even a 21st centurion! So is he worth the price-tag? Perhaps. Sancho has made an exemplary start to his career in Germany averaging a goal or assist every 90 minutes. This showed just how dependable he would be at such a young age- you could always rely on him to change a game. It would be fair to say that Sancho’s start to life in Manchester has been slow, however. So does Sancho have what it takes to become a world-class player playing at Old Trafford? Let’s investigate.
Manchester City? Don’t we mean United? No, actually- this isn’t a mistake. Sancho joined the Manchester City Youth Academy after an initial eight years at Watford, though he never made an appearance for them. Sancho was aware of the talent in the Manchester City side and the fact that not many (if any) young players had managed to burst into the first team, especially since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover. Concerned with a lack of playing time and delaying the start to his career; Sancho engineered a move away from the club and eventually signed for Borussia Dortmund for a fee of £8 million. This is quite some fee for a player without a senior appearance to his name, but it would pay dividends for Dortmund. In Germany Sancho was given assurances over playing time and went straight into the first team. Sancho was the first of many young British stars to make the move to Germany in subsequent seasons (see Lookman, Oxford and Matondo)- young players just seem to get more first team opportunities abroad. Is the German League not as competitive? Or are they just more trusting with young talent? Whatever the case, Sancho will surely be thankful for the opportunity.
Sancho hit the ground running at Dortmund and spent four seasons developing himself into one of the best wingers in soccer. During his time at Dortmund he even broke into the England national team setup, so far amassing 23 appearances for his country. Sancho is known for his wicked pace, trickery on the ball, ball control and passing ability. Sancho certainly knows how to put a cross into a box (he has a powerful shot too). It was in his final two seasons that the links to Manchester United began for Sancho. Summer 2020 saw him be subject to numerous bids from United, even breaking the £100 million barrier. Whatever the case, Sancho ended up staying for a further season, where the goals and assists only continued. United still seemed weak on the right flank however, and the need for a winger was very much apparent if United ever wanted to truly compete for honors. Eventually, United and Dortmund agreed a fee in the summer of 2021 and Sancho made the big move.
Manchester United Move
So now Sancho finds himself in the first team at Old Trafford, having signed a big-money 5-year contract. United only ended up paying £73 Million this time around, which is still some fee for a 21 year-old. Nevertheless, we can now assess whether Sancho has what it takes (and the resources) to achieve world-class status in Manchester. Initial thoughts indicate that this will be possible, depending on certain factors. Sancho has has a rough start to life in Manchester, used sparingly by former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Evidently, he may need some time to settle and learn to play alongside his new teammates. On Tuesday we saw Sancho score his first goal for the club, in a position that he was actually purchased to play in! Thus far we have only seen Sancho on the left or in the middle, but temporary manager Michael Carrick trusted him on the right-wing. This was a tactical masterclass as Sancho stole the show, whipping in crosses and scoring a fantastic goal in the 90th minute. Under the right management and alongside other stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba; Sancho could really do well here.
Sancho may still have some learning to do, needing to achieve consistently good performances and become a game-changer for the club. Only three months in however, the signs are looking good. If Sancho can become a mainstay in the side under the right management- he will certainly go on to become a fully-fledged legend of the game.