Jadon Sancho: What are some interesting facts about Manchester United's potential new signing?

  • Rob Swan

Jadon Sancho is expected to be Manchester United’s major summer signing ahead of the 2020-21 season.

It was reported in Germany on Monday, per the Daily Mail, that United had submitted an £89 million bid for the Borussia Dortmund winger.

However, this offer will not be enough to land the Red Devils their number one transfer target.

Dortmund are reportedly demanding at least £109 million for the 20-year-old, who is determined to leave the Westfalenstadion this summer.

In a separate report, though, the Independent claim that United are still expected to complete the signing of Sancho within the coming weeks.

It seems only a matter of time before the England international is confirmed as a Man Utd player.

With United supporters all praying for Sancho’s arrival, we thought we’d do some digging and list some facts about the youngster that you might not know.

1. He learned his skills on the streets

Sancho was born and raised in Kennington, a district in south London, where he honed his skills on the streets and in back alleys.

“After school, I just wanted to play football,” he told the BBC in 2019. “All around me, there were people who did bad things, but I never wanted to deal with them.”

Sancho feels grateful that he chose the path he did, adding: “What might have happened if I hadn’t [focused on football] is with me all the time.”


2. Sancho first caught the eye as a child at Watford

He joined Watford at the age of seven and immediately caught the eye of scouts thanks to his incredible ability and extraordinary potential.

Chelsea and Arsenal were unsuccessful in their attempts to sign Sancho, but Manchester City managed to secure his services in 2015.

“He had this flair, creativity and imagination and a bit of street football within him,” Mark Burton, City’s youth phase coordinator, told The Mirror.

“Sometimes he goes off the cuff. What we gave him was a bit of discipline within his play but without hopefully killing his flair. We surrounded him with better players that pushed him and put him in an environment that probably got him closer to seeing what professional football looked like.”


3. Ronaldinho is his footballing idol

It won’t come as a huge surprise to hear that Sancho’s footballing hero is the legendary Ronaldinho, one of the most skillful players we’ve ever seen.

“Since I was a kid, that’s what I’ve done – it doesn’t feel right if I see a ball and don’t touch it,” the youngster was quoted saying by FourFourTwo in 2019.

“Years ago, I used to watch videos of Ronaldinho juggling a ball doing tricks on his way to the training pitch, to help him get a feel for the ball. I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”


4. He broke a 51-year record in 2019

Sancho broke a 51-year Bundesliga record in December 2019 by scoring for Dortmund in a 3-3 draw against RB Leipzig.

He became the youngest player in the history of the Bundesliga to net 22 goals, surpassing the record held by ex-Stuttgart and Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Horst Koppels.

5. He scores goals and provides assists for fun

Sancho became the first Englishman in 25 years to register 15 goals and 15 assists in a single season in one of Europe’s top leagues back in May.

Southampton’s Matt Le Tissier was the last English player to achieve that feat back in 1994-95.

Over the course of his career, including youth football, Sancho has scored 58 goals and provided 54 assists in 143 games.

6. The youngest player to score 30 Bundesliga goals

Sancho also became the youngest ever player in Bundesliga history to score 30 goals in Germany’s top league.

The record had only recently been broken by Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz when Sancho claimed it for himself.

7. Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson was one of his best friends during childhood

Arsenal winger Reiss Nelson is the same age as Sancho and the two of them have been friends for over 10 years now.

They were named in Southwark’s London Youth Games Under-11 team and managed to finish the tournament as winners.


8. The pair of them made a big impression on their coach at the time

“When I saw Jadon and Reiss I thought ‘these boys are mad.’ Jadon was just making people look stupid. The nutmegs, the skills. Some were outrageous,” Sayce Holmes-Lewis told The Mirror.

“Jadon and Reiss were both phenomenal players. You knew they would go into the professional game. They were different from anything out there and had this ability to manipulate the ball at a young age.

“At times, because of their friendship, it was telepathic between them on the pitch. Jadon was fearless on the pitch when he was in his groove. Growing up in that area of Southwark you had to have something about you to be able to play.”


9. Sancho’s dream was clear from a very young age

When asked by Louis Lancaster, his coach in Watford’s academy, ‘What’s the dream’, Sancho had a clear picture in his head about how he wanted things to pan out.

“He looked me in the eye and said he wanted to play for one of Europe’s top clubs and represent his country to make his family proud,” Lancaster revealed.

By the age of 18, Sancho had already achieved both objectives.

“Jadon was someone who needed to be challenged,” Lancaster added during an interview with Sky Sports. “Some boys are scared of moving up a year, but he embraced it. That was one thing that separated him from the others.

“As a coach you can measure how many passes they make, how many shots they take, how far they run, but it’s the immeasurable qualities that make the difference.”


10. Pep Guardiola wasn’t happy when he left Man City

Sancho took the brave decision to leave Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017 because he believed he stood a better chance of breaking into the first-team with BVB.

Pep Guardiola, however, insisted Sancho had given his word that he would sign a new deal with City.

“We offered him a huge deal and we shook hands,” the City boss told reporters. “But before we went to the States, he said ‘I am not going to sign’.”

“In the last two or three weeks he didn’t appear in the training sessions. He should come but he didn’t.

“We tried a lot. We met the father and his manager but if the player says ‘no, no, no, no, no’, what can we do?”


11. It seems Guardiola still holds a grudge

Guardiola has spoken publicly about Sancho on a couple of occasions since 2017.

In 2017, the revered Catalan coach claimed Sancho “didn’t want to take the challenge” at Man City.

And when asked earlier this year if reports linking Sancho with a return to the Etihad Stadium were accurate, he replied: “No, no, no. He decided to leave. Why should he decide to come back?

“We wanted him to stay like Eric Garcia and Phil (Foden) but he decided like Leroy now and myself, when I decided to move to other countries to be a manager, to move.

“When he decided to move to Dortmund it’s not because he is going to decide to come back one year later. It would make no sense. He didn’t want to be here, so that is why I think he doesn’t want to come back here.”

12. Sancho was given Dortmund’s No. 7 shirt ahead of Yarmolenko

Andriy Yarmolenko was an experienced Ukraine international in 2017 but it was Sancho who Dortmund handed the No. 7 shirt that summer.

“I was so surprised,” Sancho said of Dortmund’s show of faith at the time. “At first they offered me the No.9, but in England that’s a centre-forwards number. They’re both big numbers and it showed how much the club valued me.”


13. He’s involved in a ‘Brits Abroad’ WhatsApp group

This is according to talkSPORT, who understand that Sancho is the admin of the aforementioned ‘Brits Abroad’ WhatsApp group.

“When [Dortmund] beat Bayern 3-2, the group went crazy,” Sancho revealed. “It’s like being back in London. You go that extra mile.”


14. Sancho has several interesting tattoos

Sancho unveiled some interesting new tattoos back in May.

The new tattoos on his right arm feature The Simpsons family and Sonic the Hedgehog. They sit above another a tattoo of Spiderman.


His left arm features a poem in tribute to his younger brother, who tragically died when Sancho was just five years old.

“All I want is to make him proud. He is my inspiration,” Sancho said in 2019.

“The poem reads: ‘You and me will stay together, you made us happy, you brought us joy, you were a special baby boy.

“I couldn’t wait till you grew up, teach you football and win the cup. But you’re gone what can I do? Baby brother, we love you.”


15. His FIFA Ultimate Team is straight fire

Sancho, like most young professional footballers, loves to unwind by playing a bit of FIFA.

His Ultimate Team was recently revealed and it’ll take some beating.

Sancho’s XI in full: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Achraf Hakimi, Virgil van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Guerreiro, Kevin De Bruyne, Paul Pogba, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, Neymar.


16. He enjoys a laugh

Sancho filmed himself and former teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doing their own rendition of ‘Man’s Not Hot’ in the car back in 2017.

Watch it here…

17. The first player born in 2000 or later to score for England

England beat Kosovo 5-3 in September 2019 and Sancho scored the Three Lions’ fourth and fifth goals on the stroke of half-time.

The first goal saw Sancho become the first player born in the year 2000 or later to score a goal for England.

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