FIFA U17 World Cup: "Jadon's gone home" confirms Steve Cooper before England take on Japan
The saga surrounding Borussia Dortmund's latest acquisition Jadon Sancho that has been going on since the start of the FIFA U-17 World Cup has been finally put to bed as coach Steve Cooper confirmed that the attacking midfielder has left the squad to go back to Germany.
Sancho,17, joined the Bundesliga outfit from Manchester City for £8 million on transfer deadline day earlier this summer after months of speculation regarding his future on the blue side of Manchester. Before England began their India campaign, Dortmund had refused to let Sancho go for his international duties. Much like Brazilian sensation Vinicius Junior, Jadon too was all set to miss the tournament. But after much discussion with the English FA, Dortmund decided to allow Sancho but only for the group stages. As the tournament began, Sancho stood true to his hype, as he scored three goals during the group stages along with two assists, dazzling a packed crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Sancho, who trained with the team yesterday in a closed training session, was absent during the Young Lion's training at the SAI Complex today and as the murmurs started doing the rounds regarding his absence, Cooper put all to bed by confirming his departure.
"Jadon's gone home, which is a disappointment, for both him and for the team, Dortmund have requested him back," said a somewhat discontent looking Cooper. "He's had a great tournament and has relished his chances playing in the World Cup in India. I can only hope that he'll be starting for Dortmund in the first eleven in the weekend," he further added.
Cooper, who has been positive throughout the length of his time in the tournament while addressing the press, looked a bit annoyed for the first time after losing one of his key men before the knockout rounds. But he reiterated the fact that he thinks about the squad as a whole and about playing with 'England's own identity' rather than individual talents, he said "We look forward not back. We will always be about the team. Everyone's worthy in the team and the hunger to win and the spirit is excellent in the squad."
England, who play Japan for the first time at this level tomorrow at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, qualified as group toppers with a perfect record. While Japan on the other hand who drew against debutants New Caledonia in their final group game are wary of England's strength going forward and will be aiming to solidify their back line firmly in order to stand firm against any mauling attempts from the Young Lions.