How Jadon Sancho became a global star at Dortmund – and every giant’s top transfer target this summer

Sports Staff
The forward is already one of Dortmund's most crucial players: Getty

Moving abroad

Aged just 17 and yet to play a senior game, Jadon Sancho made the bold move to leave his homeland on transfer deadline day in August 2017.

He joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City for a fee in the region of £10million and was handed the number seven shirt left vacant by Ousmane Dembele’s big-money departure to Barcelona.

Sancho, who had arrived at City from Watford when he was 14, was eager for first-team exposure, with the German side attracted by his exciting potential.

He had scored 20 goals in 35 games for City’s youth sides the previous season, before being named player of the tournament at the Under-17 European Championship that summer after registering five times and providing five assists for runners-up England.

Bundesliga star

The forward is already one of Dortmund's most crucial players (Getty)

Sancho has firmly establish himself as one of the most exciting young talents in European football during his time with Dortmund.

Blessed with quick feet and exceptional dribbling skills, the London-born player has already notched 27 goals and 37 assists – including 14 and 16 respectively this term – in just 69 Bundesliga outings.

He was initially eased in by the German giants, making seven starts and five substitute appearances during the 2017-18 campaign, scoring his first senior goal in a 4-0 success over Bayer Leverkusen.

Sancho has been a regular under Swiss head coach Lucien Favre since the start of the 2018-19 campaign and, in February, became the first player in Bundesliga history to reach 25 goals while still a teenager.

England breakthrough

England midfielder Jadon Sancho celebrates with Raheem Sterling (AFP/Getty Images)

A series of eye-catching displays for Dortmund did not go unnoticed by England boss Gareth Southgate.

Aged 18 and 201 days, Sancho made his senior international debut in unusual circumstances during a Nations League game away to World Cup finalists Croatia in October 2018.

The match in Rijeka – a dour goalless draw – was staged behind closed doors due to a UEFA ban imposed on the hosts, with substitute Sancho playing the final 12 minutes.

He made his first start in a 3-0 friendly win over the United States the following month and has been capped 11 times in total, scoring a brace in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Kosovo.

In demand

Sancho’s growing reputation means he continues to be linked with a move away from Signal Iduna Park, most notably a return to England.

Manchester United and Chelsea are thought to be among the frontrunners for his signature, while runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool and LaLiga champions Barcelona are also rumoured to be interested.

Recent reports stated he would be allowed to leave Dortmund this summer, if he asked for a transfer, although uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic could affect his situation.

A staggering £120million – around 12 times the amount Dortmund paid for him – has been suggested as the fee required to secure his services. PA