Ranking the 3 ideal destinations for Jadon Sancho
- We try to rank the three ideal destinations for the former Man City prodigy's next club.
Jadon Sancho has the world at his feet. The English wunderkind has been, by some distance, the most imperious teenager in Europe bar none and is on course to have his best-ever season. Sancho moved to Germany to play for Borussia Dortmund after deeming the role and playing time offered by his former club Manchester City to be insufficient.
He joined the Black and Yellow army for just over €7m as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele after his record €125m sale to FC Barcelona. Now, however, Sancho is valued at around the same price the Catalans paid for the injury-prone Frenchman, if not more.
This season, Sancho has amassed an incredible 14 goals and 15 assists in 23 Bundesliga games for Dortmund and was on course to break Kevin De Bruyne's record tally of 21 assists in a German league season. That was, of course, until the suspension of the Bundesliga due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Englishman has been majestic this season for Lucien Favre's side and has also chipped in with two goals and as many assists in the UEFA Champions League.
With Sancho reportedly likely to return to his homeland after his uber-productive spell in Germany, we try to rank the three ideal destinations for the former Man City prodigy's next club.
Liverpool have been linked with Jadon Sancho for a while now and they were reportedly one of two clubs seriously interested to land him before leaving Man City. The champions of Europe are fresh off being humbled by Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid at Anfield but have a much-anticipated Premier League title seemingly in the bag, given that they are likely to be awarded the title should the league be cancelled altogether.
The Englishman could be tempted to join one of the most enticing football projects in the world led by German tactician Jurgen Klopp. The Liverpool coach who, incidentally, happens to be a former Dortmund manager, is widely regarded as the most effective football trainer in Europe and his surreal run of results with the Reds speaks for itself.
Sancho could fit into a well-oiled machine and will understandably face more opportunities to win titles both domestically and in Europe. That being said, however, the onus wouldn't be on Sancho. Liverpool already have Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino leading the line and unless a time comes where Roberto Firmino is dropped for the Englishman to play a central role behind the striker, it could be potentially problematic.
At 19, Sancho needs to decide if he wants to prioritise winning titles as a collective or establish himself as a superstar of the sport. Liverpool have some of the most irresistibly good attackers in Europe leading their attack and for that reason alone, Sancho is better off looking elsewhere.
Much like Liverpool, Chelsea have been long-term admirers of the former Manchester City winger. The Blues are on the cusp of a significant revamp after the upliftment of the FIFA transfer ban imposed on them earlier. Frank Lampard's side faced an uphill task of replacing one of the greatest players in their history, Eden Hazard after the Belgian sealed his dream move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Chelsea have already acquired the services of Hakim Ziyech ahead of the new season, as confirmed by both clubs last month. With the prodigious Callum Hudson-Odoi tied down to a long-term deal, Christian Pulisic yet to settle in well and Ziyech's impending arrival, the London club have made good moves in the market. They are, understandably, adamant on wanting to sign the 19-year-old from Dortmund to complete their quartet of players who ply their trade playing out wide.
Despite the reported departure of Pedro being on the cards, that is still three wingers who would expect game time themselves and this is all excluding Willian's unclear future. Should the Brazilian renew his deal at Stamford Bridge, that would make it four players to compete with. Now, granted that a £100+ signing wouldn't be made to make him sit on the bench, but a possibility of him not being at the heart of this Chelsea side has to be considered.
If a compromise has to be made on that regard, it would make sense to do so at a club guaranteed to win you trophies, which is unfortunately not the case with Chelsea. The instability over their managerial situation, the ongoing revamp and Lampard's unclear future make it a tricky yet potentially fruitful pick for the Englishman.
1. Manchester United
Manchester United are reportedly the favourites to land Jadon Sancho and have been long-linked with the Englishman for a few transfer windows now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men have seemingly turned a corner with their superb run of performances since a 2-0 defeat at Anfield. They were unbeaten for 11 games across all competitions before the suspension of the Premier League and UEFA tournaments.
The Red Devils have lacked a traditional winger on the right flank for quite some time now, dating all the back to Sir Alex Ferguson's days at the club. The profile of the player and the profile that Manchester United are looking for in every manner, being young, English, and more talented than any other 19-year-old in the world.
He would improve the team by leaps and bounds just with his inclusion on the team sheet given that Daniel James, Tahith Chong, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard have been the players who have been deployed on the right flank. With all due respect to Mata, a Premier League and Champions League winner with Chelsea, he is past his prime and doesn't have the legs to play like he used to a few years ago. James would be the only real threat to Sancho reiterating the Englishman's first-team status.
With Paul Pogba's reported departure from Old Trafford, Sancho can establish a legacy for himself at arguably England's biggest club and be at the heart of their resurgence. With the Red Devils showing their ambition by recruiting Bruno Fernandes while also lining up several summer targets, it could be a great time for the 19-year-old to join United as part of the fresh brigade of young talent at the club. He could go on to become the face of the club along with the likes of his international teammate Marcus Rashford and be central to the plans for Solskjaer's men moving forward.
Published 16 Mar 2020, 00:45 IST