Erling Haaland may be grabbing the headlines for Dortmund, but Jadon Sancho is showing why he is one of the most coveted players on EARTH… German football is gushing over the English starlet after answering his fiercest critics
- Erling Braut Haaland has been hogging the headlines since joining Dortmund
- He scored twice in a 5-1 thrashing of Cologne, but Jadon Sancho stood out
- The teenager picked up a goal and an assist and had a hand in Haaland’s goals
- German press are raving over Sancho and see him as one of world’s top stars
- He has silenced his critics after he was slammed following a holiday in Dubai
Erling Braut Haaland may have hogged the headlines on Friday night, but he was not the only Borussia Dortmund youngster who shone in the 5-1 demolition of Cologne.
Flying, if not under the radar, then at least somewhat in Haaland’s shadow, was Jadon Sancho. And 10 days after he was slammed in the German press for his holiday habits, the England international delivered a perfect response to his critics.
While Haaland continued his blistering start to life at Dortmund – coming off the bench to score a brilliant brace on his home debut and take his tally to five goals in two games – Sancho showed once again why Dortmund will not under any circumstances let him leave the club this January.
Erling Haaland is grabbing headlines for Dortmund but Jadon Sancho has shown his value
Sancho had a hand in two of Haaland’s goals against Cologne, picking up a goal and an assist
For the fourth time in his last five games, Sancho picked up a goal and an assist. Having set up Dortmund’s opener with just a minute on the clock, he then left Cologne defender Rafael Czichos seeing stars as he rifled in their third just after half time.
He also had a hand in both Haaland’s goals, as the Norwegian came off the bench to complete the rout in the last 20 minutes. Dortmund fans will only whisper it, but together, the two look capable of making Lucien Favre’s side into title winners.
‘Dortmund’s most prolific forward showed once again why he is one of the most coveted players on the continent,’ gushed Sportbuzzer website after the game. They meant Sancho, not Haaland. In his post-match TV interview, captain Marco Reus marveled at Sancho’s inch-perfect positioning.
The German press are gushing about the starlet and see him as one of the world’s top stars
All of this is a far cry from the negative headlines earlier this month, when Sancho’s attitude was once again called into question by certain sections of the German press. An Instagram video documenting an extravagant holiday in Dubai was, for some commentators, the latest proof that the young Englishman had grown too big for his boots.
Yet ill-advised as it may have been to eat the infamous gold-plated steak of Turkish celebrity chef Salt Bae, the notion that Sancho has an attitude problem has always been an exaggeration.
For a handful of games in the autumn, Sancho’s concentration did seem to slip. He was suspended for lateness, and substituted off in the first half after a listless performance against Bayern Munich.
The 19-year-old earned criticism after being seen with ‘Salt Bae’ during a holiday to Dubai
He came under fire in Dortmund’s 4-0 loss to Bayern after he was hooked in the first half
Sancho has been in hot water with boss Lucien Favre recently after turning up late to training
Yet that was back in early November, and since then his record has spoken for itself. Sancho has picked up either a goal or an assist in all but one of the 10 games since his humiliation against Bayern. In seven of those games, he picked up one of each.
Given the views that his fiercest critics have espoused on other topics, there will be those who see something sinister in the way Sancho has come under fire. It should be noted that most in Germany have focused on his brilliant performances, rather than his supposed attitude problems. As so often, though, it is the negative voices who shout the loudest.
As Der Spiegel put it on Saturday: ‘Sancho’s extraordinary abilities, his pace, his dribbling, his finishing and his precise passing from the wings into the middle are now taken for granted.’
Yet taken for granted or otherwise, they remain an indispensable asset for Lucien Favre’s team, and they continue to strike fear into the hearts of even the most confident of opponents.
Dortmund players are enjoying having Sancho in the team – he has laid on 13 assists this term
The pacy winger has shown superb dribbling ability and finishing in the Bundesliga this season
This weekend, Sancho received praise from an unlikely source when veteran Bayern forward Thomas Muller waxed lyrical about him in an interview with Sportbuzzer.
‘Jadon Sancho is super. He always manages to create dangerous situations with his technique, his speed and his dribbling,’ said Muller.
‘There are other dribblers with similar qualities in the Bundesliga, but they don’t have his incredible decision-making.’
Muller is not known for his tendency to heap praise on rival players. That he should single out Sancho in such a way is just another bit of proof that the Englishman is bringing something out of the ordinary to German football.
Dortmund are hoping to hang on to Sancho but are bracing themselves for summer offers
It is little wonder that Dortmund want to keep him for as long as possible. This week, Bild reported that the club were resigned to letting him go this summer, but were planning to put a whopping £125million price-tag on his head.
No doubt there will be someone willing to pay it. And if so, it will surely be a win-win-win situation for all involved. The buying club will get one of Europe’s finest young players, Sancho will get his move back to England, and Dortmund will get a juicy windfall after several years of service from a world class player.
For despite the sneering criticisms of his lifestyle, the reality is that Sancho has served Dortmund admirably in the last two years. That dip in form last autumn aside, his brilliance has been almost unrelenting.
Haaland continues to find the net but has a way to go before he matches Sancho’s consistency
So while Haaland may be hogging the headlines after his flurry of goals against Augsburg and Cologne, he is not yet the new Jadon Sancho.
‘Sancho has shown what Haaland still needs to prove: that he can perform consistently, and against stronger opponents,’ wrote Der Spiegel on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund might not miss Sancho’s Instagram exploits when he leaves them this summer, but you can be damn sure they will miss his football.
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