Biography and family
Jadon Malik Sancho (born 25 March 2000) is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the England national team. Sancho was previously a youth player with Watford and Manchester City and signed his first senior contract with Dortmund in 2017. In his second season, he established himself as a first team regular and won the Bundesliga Player of the Month for October 2018. Sancho was part of the England youth team that won the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup and made his debut for the senior team in 2018. Sancho was born in Camberwell, London to parents from Trinidad and Tobago. He was raised in Kennington. He became friends with fellow aspiring footballer Reiss Nelson, who lived nearby, after they played together in youth tournaments.
Sancho joined Watford at the age of seven. Due to issues with commuting across London to the club’s academy, he moved into accommodation provided by Watford and began attending their partner school Harefield Academy as a boarder, aged 11. At the age of 14, he moved to Manchester City in March 2015 for an initial fee of £66,000 under the EPPP, potentially rising to £500,000 with add ons. Sancho continued to impress in the Manchester City academy and was one of a trio of players that the Manchester City chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, said would be fast tracked into the senior set up in May 2017. In July 2017, Sancho was omitted from Manchester City’s pre-season tour squad due to a dispute over assurances of playing time in a new contract. It was subsequently reported that Sancho was attempting to force a move away from the club.
Sancho signed for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund on 31 August 2017 for a fee reported to be in the region of £8 million and was immediately included in the first-team squad. He later stated that he felt confident in making the move abroad due to his previous experiences in relocating with Watford and Manchester City. Sancho made his debut for the club against Eintracht Frankfurt on 21 October, coming on as a substitute with six minutes left of the match, becoming the first Englishman to play a Bundesliga match for Dortmund. Sancho made his first league start for Dortmund on 14 January 2018, hitting the woodwork in a goalless draw with VfL Wolfsburg. He scored his first professional goal on 21 April 2018. It was the first goal in a 4–0 victory against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and he also assisted two other goals in the same match. Having signed a new contract keeping him at the club until 2022, Sancho enjoyed a successful October 2018 by being named Bundesliga Player of the Month, registering three goals and an assist in just three league games. Included among his goals for the month was a brace in a win over Hertha BSC which saw him become the first player born in the 2000s to score twice in a single Bundesliga and the youngest ever by a Dortmund player. During a 3–3 draw with Hoffenheim on 9 February 2019, he became the youngest-ever player to score eight goals in a single Bundesliga season, breaking the record previously held by Christian Wück. Later that month, upon scoring in a 3–2 win over Bayer Leverkusen, he broke Lukas Podolski’s record to become the youngest player to score nine Bundesliga goals, aged 18 years and 336 days. On 13 April, Sancho scored a brace in a 2–1 win over Mainz and in doing so became the youngest-ever Dortmund player to score at least 10 goals in a single Bundesliga campaign. Following an impressive league campaign in which he scored 12 goals and provided 14 assists, Sancho was named in the 2018–19 Bundesliga Team of the Season.
After an impressive start to the 2019-20 season, Sancho’s contract with Dortmund was extended. In February 2020, he was named Bundesliga Player of the Month. On May 31, he scored his first career hat-trick during Dortmund’s match versus Paderborn.
Sancho has been capped by England youth teams, at under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels. In May 2017, Sancho was part of the England under-17 team that reached the final of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship, and was named player of the tournament for his performances. In September 2017, Sancho was named in England’s squad for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup but the player’s new German club resisted the call up. The two parties eventually reached an agreement where he would be available for the group stages of the competition, but his participation was not guaranteed if England progressed to the knock out rounds. On 8 October 2017, he scored twice in England U17’s first match, against Chile. On 16 October, during England’s round of 16 tie against Japan, he was withdrawn from the competition by Borussia Dortmund. On 2 November 2017, Sancho was called up to the England U19 squad for the first time, joining them for 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification matches against the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Group 8’s host-nation team Bulgaria. He made his first start at U19 level in the 6–0 victory against the Faroes, lasting seventy minutes before being substituted for Ben Brereton; He replaced Brereton in the 66th minute in the win over Iceland, which secured progression to the elite round. He scored the only goal of the match against Bulgaria to help England top their group. Coming on as a substitute for Brereton, Sancho scored the last of the goals in England’s 4–1 win over Hungary in the first match of the elite round on 21 March 2018.
Following an impressive start to the 2018–19 season, Sancho was called up to the England senior squad for the first time on 4 October 2018 in preparation for UEFA Nations League fixtures against Croatia and Spain. He made his debut as a 78th-minute substitute against Croatia on 12 October in a 0–0 away draw. On 22 March 2019, Sancho started his first competitive match for England in their 5–0 win over the Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.