Jadon Sancho is not in a good spot at Borussia Dortmund. The Athletic said last night that he feels ‘humiliated and scapegoated’ and has been on alert after interest from Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
When a player like him shows any sign of unhappiness, interest will crop up. He hasn’t been handled well by Dortmund in recent days and the player feels that by being the youngster in the side, he deserves more care and protection.
Sancho’s substitution within the first half against Bayern Munich was a hammer blow. The manner in which BVB dropped Sancho in the Borussia Monchengladbach clash was concerning. That was done because Sancho had come back late from international duty. Both Lucien Favre and sporting director Michael Zorc went public about it.
That is sure to alarm Barcelona, who have been in love with superstar signings in recent years. Ever since Neymar left, they’ve been trying the same – the captures of Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, and Antoine Griezmann states that. Sancho presents a similar acquisition.
At 19, Sancho has already shown he is one of the best wingers in world football. He is mainly a right-winger but is also just as effective on the left, Sancho has contributed to 51 goals in 72 games for Dortmund. His pace and incisiveness are well beyond someone of his age, considering how many players like him often lack the final ball.
In that regard, Sancho is a unique player. His involvement in ten Bundesliga goals in just as many games shows that. Last season, his goal contributions of 26 goals in 34 appearances is another reflection of this.
This season, he is playing predominantly as a right-winger. But last season, he played on either side and impressed on both of them. He completed 3.3 dribbles per game last season – more than anyone else on the pitch. He also creates a large number of key-passes per game – 1.9.
Numbers like that will make anyone happy, including Barcelona who have been looking at forming a trio that involves Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and another player. They have been keen on Neymar since the summer and Eric Abidal’s recent praise shows that they’re still keen.
But considering Sancho’s versatility, he is a better option than Neymar. Or at least, a more reliable option.
Dembele’s discipline issues have made his move a failure. Neymar has become just as injury prone as him. Since joining Paris Saint-Germain, he has missed as many games as Dembele has since he came to the Nou Camp – 59. Not to mention the experiences this past summer that showed that PSG are very stiff in their approach.
Sancho, on the other hand, has missed 14 games through injury since the 2017-18 season began. He has always been professional – unlike Dembele. The recent issues are a blip, but Dortmund have been at fault as well. They could have done better, but it shows that they’re perhaps resigned to losing the England international.
They had come up with a similar resignation in the case of Christian Pulisic in the past. Per the Athletic, Sancho’s agents have denied that the player wants to leave in January. While Neymar has done well in France whenever he has been in action, Sancho is 19 and is a generational talent.
Bundesliga legend Lothar Matthäus has been full of praise for him. He said:
“I wanted to know more about this wonderful guy I’d seen playing. I didn’t know him at all, or who he played for, just his surname. But from that moment I could see he was fantastic. I only needed to watch for 15 minutes to know that.”
He has those dancing feet and decisiveness in his play that sets him apart from others of his age. The recent match against Paderborn shows this as he helped his club come back from 3-0 down to level it up late in the second half.
He completed three dribbles and three key passes. He also won two tackles and made three interceptions (Via WhoScored). They also show that he has the graft that allows him to work hard, and that he isn’t about the attack only.
And since he is still so young, Barcelona, a club that has shown a keenness to sign superstars, have to make a move. They will end up regretting it if they don’t.