BERLIN – When Englishman Jadon Sancho first joined Borussia Dortmund in 2017, he was a promising player but in his second season he became a Bundesliga sensation and an established figure at the Westphalia-based club.
A brace he scored against Mainz on Saturday not only led his team to a 2-1 home win, but also brought his tally to 10 goals this season.
Having scored a goal during his first season, he became the youngest player to collect 11 Bundesliga goals at age of 19 years and 19 days.
However, he is only third on the Dortmund top scorer list behind Paco Alcacer (16) and Marco Reus (15), but taking the assists into consideration he surpasses not only both players, but all the Bundesliga players except for Robert Lewandowski.
With his 17 assists, he is not only the player who collected most assists, but also is about to join an exclusive club of only five players who got involved in more than 17 goals since the assists started to be counted in the 1989/1990 season.
Emile Forsberg has set the record at 22 and Sancho still has five Bundesliga games ahead of him until the finish line.
Sancho decided to join Dortmund because he saw better possibilities of improving at the German club than at Manchester City, where he did train with the first team but did not get the match time he wanted.
A few injuries marred his first half of his debut season at Dortmund, who paid seven million euros (nearly $8 million) to sign him, but he had the necessary consistency in the second.
During the second half of his first season, he scored a goal and assisted on another four, numbers that would get better in the second season.
His fast evolution drew attention of Europe biggest clubs, some of which had already showed interest in him before.
Aware of this interest, Dortmund extended Sancho’s contract until 2022, and although the deal did not include a buy-out clause, his salary was tripled to around three millions euros ($3.40 million) per year.
Now, Sancho is a regular starter and a cornerstone in coach Lucien Favre’s team, where he usually plays as a winger.
Beside his dribbling skills and vision that enable him to pass the ball to the best positioned teammate, he also boasts a great final touch.
In Dortmund, they hope he will stay for a few years, but they also know that the odds of him retiring at the German club are low.
For now, clubs who are interested in him will have to negotiate, as his market value reached 80 million euros ($90.56 million), but the club has a contract in hand and it could demand more as it has already done on other occasions.