Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson has urged the Gunners to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.
The teenager joined Dortmund in 2017 but has been consistently linked with a return to England after a stellar 2018/19 campaign in the Bundesliga.
Should Arsenal sign Jadon Sancho? Five things to know…
- Sancho had a phenomenal season for Borussia Dortmund in 2018/19, scoring 12 goals and recording 14 assists.
- This caused the Englishman to be linked with a move to the Premier League.
- Manchester United and Manchester City are the two clubs often accredited with interest in his signature.
- Merson is adamant his former side Arsenal should join the race for the 19-year-old.
- Arsenal broke their transfer record to sign Nicolas Pepe for £72m in the summer, but Sancho would cost considerably more.
Sancho scored 12 goals and recorded 14 assists in 33 appearances last season, with Robert Lewandowski (29) the only player to be involved in more Bundesliga goals.
The Englishman has carried that form into the new campaign, scoring twice and recording four assists – one ahead of Thomas Muller and Marcel Sabitzer who are both on three.
And former Arsenal forward Merson has praised Sancho for making the tough decision of moving to Germany at a young age.
“Jadon Sancho has the world at his feet and there’s going to be an almighty auction for him next summer at this rate,” he told the Daily Star.
“You have to respect what he did going to Germany for game time. It’s a hard league, a new culture, and he’s been ripping it up. A lot of players just stick around picking up their wages whether they’re playing or not. But he wanted to play and he’s reaping the reward.”
Sancho’s decision to leave Manchester City has also boosted his international opportunities and he scored his first senior England goal during the international break.
Given his pace and ability to go past players, the youngster has given manager Gareth Southgate a selection headache as he looks to settle on his preferred Three Lions strikeforce.
Merson added: “When you leave a Premier League club to go abroad you’re in danger of going out of sight out of mind but he’s done so well he thoroughly deserves to be in the England team.
“I like his confidence. He beats players, and he knows the game. He has composure as well as pace. He doesn’t make bad choices when he gets into dangerous positions.
“I think we’ll see him back in the Premier League sooner rather than later. I doubt he’ll be available in January but next summer there will be a queue of clubs lining up.”
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Both Manchester United and Manchester City have been accredited with interest to bring Sancho back to England, with the teenager having spent two years in the latter’s academy.
But Merson believes Unai Emery’s side should be looking to join the race for Sancho’s signature.
“Manchester United seem to like him, and Arsenal certainly should. But Manchester City might even be tempted to bring him back.
“If Leroy Sane ends up leaving they will need someone young, quick and talented to replace him and Sancho looks the perfect fit.”
Jadon Sancho's Bundesliga career so far:
• 50 games
• 37 starts
• 22 assists
• 15 goals
A San-sational half-century. pic.twitter.com/398FYoEB2R
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 14, 2019
Do Arsenal need Sancho?
In the first four games of the new Premier League season, Emery has been able to call upon the attacking trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and club-record signing Nicolas Pepe.
Aubameyang leads the way for the Gunners on goals, scoring three, while Lacazette has added two. Pepe is yet to score, but has recorded one assist from six chances created – more than any other Arsenal player.
The Ivorian winger has also proven himself tough to defend against with a Premier League-high 15 take-ons completed.
In comparison, Sancho has scored two goals, recorded three assists from seven chances created in the Bundesliga so far, as well as completing 11 take-ons.