MX23RW : Tuesday, March 26 11:16:00

England call-up ‘biggest thing’ to happen to Sancho

The Borussia Dortmund player plans to make the most of his inclusion in the the squad.

Jadon Sancho says being called up by England is the “biggest thing that could ever happen to a young kid” and pledged to make his mark on football like Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic has.

Fresh from signing a new and improved deal until 2022, manager Gareth Southgate doubled down on his focus on youth with his squad selection for the upcoming Nations League double-header away to Croatia and Spain.

Sancho was perhaps the most eye-catching inclusion, with his promising performances in Germany seeing him become the first player born this millennium to be called up by the senior team.

Jadon Sanhco
Sancho is pleased to be considered for England’s games in the Nations League (Martin Rickett/PA)

The 18-year-old is reaping the rewards of taking the path less followed, having made the courageous – if at the time slightly controversial – move from Manchester City to Dortmund last summer.

Sancho said: “It means a lot to me, especially my family. When I was a young kid, I always dreamed of obviously playing for my country. That’s the biggest thing that could ever happen to a young kid like me.

“It would be a dream come true (to make my debut against Croatia). I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.

“Obviously I just have to keep on working hard in training and see what the manager does.”

Jadon Sancho
Sancho was taken aback by all of the media interest following his call up for England by Gareth Southgate (Martin Rickett/PA)

Sancho seemed a little taken aback by the media interest at St George’s Park, but not quite as much as when the call came in from Southgate rather than England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd.

“I was a bit surprised, to be fair, because obviously I’m so young so I have still got a lot to learn,” he said with a smile.

“I’m just grateful that he’s seeing my progress in the Bundesliga and very thankful.”

Sancho politely declined to talk about leaving Pep Guardiola’s City but was forthcoming when it came to life in Germany, expressing gratitude to the Dortmund fans and head coach Lucien Favre.

Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic has been a big help to Sancho in Dortmund (Nick Potts/PA)

The teenager is slowly learning German but adaptation to life on the field has been rapid, thanks in no small part to their trust in young players – and advice from the likes of team-mate Pulisic.

“Obviously Christian Pulisic is another young guy, and I learn from him all the time,” Sancho said of the United States international.

“His confidence to just take on players – no matter like whether there are four or five guys around him, he still tries.

“That’s what he tells me off the pitch, ‘you’ve just got to do your thing, that’s why you’re here – you’ve got to make everyone understand you’re Jadon Sancho’. That’s what he said to me.”

Jadon Sancho
Sancho was at Manchester City before he moved to Germany (John Walton/PA)

Playing alongside the likes of Pulisic, Mario Gotze and Marco Reus makes Sancho “more grounded”, while living with his dad in Dortmund also helps.

The attacking midfielder’s performances have recently been rewarded with a contract extension with the German giants until 2022 but living abroad has brought challenges.

Sancho said: “Obviously moving from home, that was the biggest. Leaving my mum behind and my sisters. I miss them a lot, but I want to do what’s best for me and felt like moving to Germany was the best thing.”

Sancho’s transfer from Watford to City helped prepare him for the mental leap to Germany – a move abroad he would recommend to like-minded players.

There were nerves at first, but Sancho soon settled into life at Dortmund and the number seven shirt vacated by Ousmane Dembele when he joined Barcelona.

Jadon Sazncho
Sancho has described a £100m price tag as ‘mad’ (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Playing for England brings new pressures, though, and his performances have seen a £100million price tag to be mentioned.

“That’s mad!” Sancho said with a laugh when told of that figure. “Woah!

“That’s… I don’t know… I don’t know what to say to that.”

Asked if he felt he would play club football in England again, he said: “I don’t know. It’s the future. You never know what could happen, so we wait and see.”

Jadon Sancho
An England squad place is the latest honour during Sancho’s rapid career rise (Martin Rickett/PA)

For now, his focus is on international matters.

Sancho already has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name – even though he had to watch last year’s under-17 final on an internet stream after being called back from India by Dortmund.

Earlier that summer the attacking midfielder won player of the tournament as Steve Cooper’s Young Lions reached the Under-17 European Championship final and the teenager believes that was a “very special group”.

“The growth in England at the moment is crazy,” Sancho added. “There’s a lot of great young players out there.”

Click here for more stories about Jadon Sancho

Click here for more stories about England

Share this article now:

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account