Jadon Sancho’s emergence as a forward of potentially the highest calibre has essentially vindicated the significant and unorthodox gamble he took with his career when, at 17, he left Manchester City and Pep Guardiola to join Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. In the years since, he has become a regular England international and is consistently excelling in Dortmund’s pursuit of the German title and in the Champions League.
“There was a stat around Champions League appearances for nationalities and how it’s correlated to success at senior international level,” said Gareth Southgate, England’s head coach, when Sancho was first called up. “So to have a player starting in the Champions League is important to us. His decision to move tells you something about his character. He has tremendous belief in himself.” By securing his first two international goals in the victory over Kosovo, Sancho became the first player born since the turn of the century to score for England. He also became the youngest to score more than once for them in one match since Wayne Rooney against Croatia in June 2004.