Jadon Sancho is in a unique position.
While there have been English players to have plied their trade abroad successfully, many of them have left the Premier League for big moves into continental Europe.
Steve McManaman, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Kieran Trippier were all established internationals when they left these shores for pastures new, while Eric Dier was an unknown quantity upon joining Tottenham Hotspur from Sporting Lisbon in 2014.
The situation is most comparable to that of Owen Hargreaves’ in 2007 when he finally joined United from Bayern Munich all while regularly featuring for the national team. Still, like Dier, a defensive midfielder is never likely to generate as much excitement as a forward player full of flair and skill.
So, while taking a Premier League-centric view of things will rightly invoke the ire of many aficionados of European football, but many may not be quite as clued as Manchester United‘s £73m signing as they want to be.
Clearly, there is more to Sancho’s game to skills. Indeed, 38 goals and 51 assists in 104 games for Borussia Dortmund speak to a man capable of making a genuine difference at the top level.
They are not tricks for the sake of tricks. Rather, they form part of his multi-faceted attacking arsenal, but that makes them no less fun to watch.
One of the best examples of his fancy footwork came during a training game with the German giants.
Posted on Twitter last week, a video emerged of Sancho nutmegging his teammate. While the victim can take solace in the fact that he is not alone to have been left in the dust by the 21-year-old, his reaction showed just how resigned he felt.
After shifting the ball between his opponent’s legs, Sancho tees himself up for a shot and scores with what seems like ultimate ease. For the man nutmegged, however, the chance to see the goal up close and personal was flatly rejected as he walked off the training pitch, seemingly in embarrassment.
Plenty of defenders have been turned inside and out by Jadon Sancho. After his big move, plenty more will be.
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