Sport Sancho opens up on 'wake-up call' that kickstarted journey to stardom
Can Borussia Dortmund's team of tyros end Bayern Munich's dominance?
Young players don't simply make up the numbers or fill quotas at Dortmund, they play their full part. Coach Lucien Favre and his staff are determined to drive down the average age of the team.No, it was the identity of three of their goalscorers, or more specifically their ages. Jadon Sancho, 20, Jude Bellingham, 17, and Giovanni Reyna, 17, were all on target in Monday night's German Cup rout.
Jadon Sancho has revealed how a warning to 'fix your attitude' from Watford as a youth player was the 'wake-up call' that kickstarted his journey to becoming one of world football's best young players.
The Borussia Dortmund winger has thrived since moving to Germany from Manchester City as a 17-year-old in 2017, having come through the ranks at Watford before moving up north.
Sancho was scouted as a nine-year-old by the Hornets when he was spotted playing in Kennington, south London, and has gone on to enjoy huge success in his young career.
Rumour Has It: Man Utd to make final Sancho bid, Madrid face Camavinga competition
Manchester United are reportedly still eyeing Jadon Sancho before the transfer window closes.Sancho's valuation has proved a stumbling block for United, who have made the England international their number one transfer target.
But the path to success was not simple for the England international.
He revealed that he would even have to sometimes turn up to Sunday League football in the hope of finding a game, and that he found life in Watford tough at first.
'I used to just turn up to Sunday League and usually there’d be a player that didn’t turn up for a team so I would replace them and just play,' he told.
'I was about seven. I’d turn up and play in a tournament.
'My dad used to take me sometimes, some of my dad’s friends too. From there that’s where the connections happened and people started talking.'
Jude Bellingham isn't the only English youngster excelling abroad
Jude Bellingham has started off very well at Borussia Dortmund since making the switch from Birmingham City. Sportsmail takes a look at other English youngsters impressing abroad.The 17-year-old has started off very well at Borussia Dortmund since making the switch from Birmingham City and has one goal and one assist across his three appearances so far. His strike against Duisburg in the German Cup saw him become Dortmund's youngest goalscorer ever.
Sancho was picked up by Watford's development centre, and signed a contract after one training session with the youth team.
The 20-year-old opened up on a difficult first year after moving into boarding school with the club.
'From Year 7 I went to boarding school at Watford,' he revealed. 'I was fortunate enough they paid for everything and took me out of the area.
'I think that was the toughest year for me because I never left my mum or sisters or anyone. All I knew was South East London and I didn’t know how to adapt very well so that first year I was getting detention nearly every week, my head was just gone because I was missing everyone.
'Then I had a wake up call in Year 8 because Watford came to me and said “if you don’t fix your attitude we will have no choice but to release you.” So from there I changed.
Dortmund 'reject £91m bid from Manchester United for Jadon Sancho'
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been in hot pursuit of Sancho all summer but Borussia Dortmund have stood extremely firm over their £108million valuation of the winger. And according to Sky Sports, Dortmund have now rejected United's last-ditch move for Sancho after they launched a £91.3million offer. © Provided by Daily Mail Borussia Dortmund are standing firm over their £108million valuation of Jadon Sancho United have endured a hugely frustrating summer transfer window as they've looked to prioritise the signing of Sancho from Dortmund.
'In Year 8, Year 9 that’s where I started having manners and conducting myself better.'
Sancho moved further north to Manchester where he developed as one of the top youth products in the country. He revealed that he was taken aback by Dortmund's interest in signing him.
'It’s crazy because playing in England I would never have thought my path would take me to Germany.
'So when they came in it was mad interesting, I thought "am I ready for this mad step to go to Germany or am I not ready yet?"
'[After going to boarding school and Manchester] I have been able to stay by myself and motivate myself when I’m alone. So it helped me a lot to make that big step to Germany.'
Sancho could make a return to Manchester this summer, with United heavily linked with a move for the English attacker.
But Dortmund have stood firm in their £108m valuation of their star man so far.
Video: "Let's go for a walk!" (Cover Video)
Liverpool leapfrog Man United as favourites to sign Sancho .
Liverpool have jumped ahead of Man United in the race to sign Jadon Sancho next summer, according to the Independent‘s Miguel Delaney. Sancho ended up not joining United during the summer transfer window, staying put at Borussia Dortmund for another season instead. Now, Delaney reports that Liverpool and Bayern Munich are more likely destinations for the England international at the end of the season. Sancho has ‘naturally impressed’ Jurgen Klopp, and while the Reds couldn’t pay the required £100million for him this summer, that could change next time around.