Out of all the young talents Borussia Dortmund has brought into the team this season, Jadon Sancho has perhaps been the most interesting. The lad is seventeen years young, being the club’s only senior player born in this century. Another bit of information: he is the first Englishman in history to don the black and yellow armor of Dortmund.
His departure from Manchester City sparked discontent from their fanbase, small as it may be. A raw talent like Sancho could ensure the attacking future of any club. Unfortunately for the Citizens, his time at the club seemed to be at an end. He would not get his chance soon enough under the famed Pep Guardiola.
Sancho took action, and as he had not signed a professional contract with Manchester City. He stopped training with the club. Although this was taken with much hostility, he had every right to do so. On deadline day, he was unveiled as a Borussia Dortmund player.
Since then, he has only made two substitute appearances in the Bundesliga for a total of 16 minutes, per WhoScored. Under former manager Peter Bosz, he didn’t get the chance to really make his mark. This winter break, however, Peter Stöger saw fit to give the Englishman a chance. A friendly match against German side Fortuna Dusseldorf saw Sancho start on the left side of the pitch. Jadon Sancho had an excellent match, taking on defenders, making intelligent attacking runs, and nearly scoring a goal.
El partido de Jadon Sancho ante el Fortuna Düsseldorf, cada vez se le ve más adaptado. 17 años pero enfrentando un reto de un nuevo idioma, nuevo futbol, nueva cultura, nuevo país.pic.twitter.com/tP4YB3Fb1o— Mario Riveretti (@RiverettiMX) January 7, 2018
He fared just as well against Belgian side Zulte Waregem, even earning himself an assist.
After watching young Sancho, it’s fairly apparent that he plays similarly to Emre Mor. Small in stature, quick, eager to dribble, and certainly possesses an arsenal of tricks to deceive opponents with the ball. Sancho has only had two starts for the club, and both of them have come in friendlies. I understand there is a difference between how much he has played for Dortmund versus how much Emre Mor played this time last year. However, it’s worth noting that Sancho dribbles with a purpose, not simply because he wants to become a one man team. He’s looking for a pass, and sometimes you’ll see him make another run as soon as he lets go of the ball. Emre Mor’s selfishness was fairly apparent in every match he played, and it got very tiresome to watch. From what I’ve seen in these two matches, Sancho does not make that mistake, and finds the right balance between dribbling and passing.
Another key difference between the two players is that Emre Mor had a bit of a temper. So much so, that he had a rather dramatic red card against Hertha Berlin last season after angrily pushing his marker to the ground. Due to Mor’s selfishness with the ball, he found himself the victim of many fouls from opposition sides, which only increased his frustration on the pitch. Now and in the past with England and Manchester City’s youth side, Sancho has shown himself to be level-headed. A mature player is always preferable to a hothead, and that is part of the reason why I think he’s more than a suitable replacement for Emre Mor.
Jadon Sancho has the potential to be incredibly important to Borussia Dortmund, both now and in future seasons. Hopefully Peter Stöger will reward his good performances with extra minutes after the winter break. Dortmund, as usual, is undergoing an injury crisis and Sancho adds some much needed depth and skill to the squad. Young Jadon can be better than the ever so similar player Emre Mor who came before him. Let’s hope he and the club work together to make that a reality.