German legend Lothar Matthaus says that Borussia Dortmund’s signing of Jadon Sancho was a major coup for both the club and the league, comparing Sacho’s arrival to “winning the lottery”.
Sancho has proven a revelation since breaking through with Dortmund’s first team, providing seven goals and nine assists in 21 Bundesliga appearances this season for the league-leaders.
The 18-year-old winger’s success earned him three caps in 2018, just one year after leaving Manchester City due to a lack of playing time.
It took just a reported £8 million ($10m) fee to secure Sancho’s move to Germany, and Matthaus says that money looks like the bargain of the century.
“I saw him for the first time two years ago – at the European U-17 Championship,” Matthaus told Ruhr Nachrichten.
“England played against Norway and I was in the gym on the treadmill, in front of me on the screen was the game. Normally I do not let anything change my focus, but there I stopped after 15 minutes because I followed the game and I noticed a player: the left side winger for England.
“Dribbling, double passes. Very strong! I called my manager to tell me who that is and where it came from. Five minutes later the SMS returned: Sancho, Manchester City.
“I called him and told him that if he signed him, he could make a lot of money. I had only seen him play for ten minutes. And to get that for little money from in England is like winning the lottery.
“He not only helps Dortmund, he also helps the Bundesliga beyond the borders. In England, the Bundesliga is gaining in importance, and now he is an international player.”
Sancho will return to England on Wednesday as Dortmund face off with Tottenham to open the Champions League knockout stages.
Matthaus says he expects Sancho to be extra motivated for the match at Wembley Stadium, a match that provides a chance to prove his previous doubters wrong while solidifying his spot as one of the game’s brightest young talents.
“The young players like Sancho are bursting with self-confidence. They are now prepared differently for professional football, for this big stage,” he said.
“He hits the balance between self-confidence and arrogance and is not overbearing. For this sort of player I count Sancho, in the Bundesliga also a Serge Gnabry or a Timo Werner. They are the future.
“Sancho will not let himself be driven crazy in Wembley, but he will enjoy showing off in England. And he can also show it to his former coach Pep Guardiola, who did not put his trust in him and let him slide through the screen. He is a player just like Leroy Sane. I’m surprised Guardiola did not see that.
“Sancho will also start his dribbling in Tottenham. He can make the difference in the Bundesliga, even against Leipzig or Bayern Munich. Why should that be different in the Champions League?
“If this continues, Dortmund will again be able to record a very high transfer revenue. I hope not in the next year or two. The player seems like he feels good and plays in Dortmund in one of the 10 best teams in Europe.”.