Borussia Dortmund have confirmed the sale of Jadon Sancho to Manchester United after four years with the Bundesliga club.
Sancho joined Dortmund in 2017 from Man Utd’s city rivals Manchester City in what was seen as a big move for the youngster, looking to the Bundesliga for first-team football that would not have come in England.
The Englishman’s first season in Dortmund did not offer too much playing time, with Sancho managing just 12 Bundesliga appearances and 685 minutes, though he did still manage to score one goal and four assists.
Sancho’s real breakthrough came the following season as be fought his way to becoming a first-team regular, playing 26 matches and being directly involved in 19 goals, scoring eight and recording 11 assists – the last time he would produce less than 10 assists in both metrics across a single season.
In 2018/29, Sancho scored 12 goals and recorded 14 assists and, one season later, went even better with 17 goals and 16 assists. The later saw Sancho join an exclusive club, one of just five players to score 15+ goals and record 15+ assists in a single top-five European league campaign, joining Lionel Messi (five times), Eden Hazard (twice), Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.
His performances at club level saw Sancho repeatedly linked with a return to England and Man Utd were often seen as the frontrunners for his signature. After a prolonged transfer saga, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has finally got his man, with Sancho signing on a five-year deal with an option of another year.
Although there are often reported fees, clubs usually opt to hide how much a player has been bought or sold for, but Dortmund have confirmed the money they have brought in for Sancho’s departure. Once it has been finalised, Dortmund will receive a fixed transfer fee €85million (roughly £73million) for Sancho, with no mention of add-ons or additional clauses.
Now he is officially a Man Utd player, Sancho will have an eye on matching an assist record held by Red Devils and England legend David Beckham in his first season. As things stand, Sancho and Beckham are the last two English players to have provided 10+ assists in three consecutive top-five league campaigns. Beckham went one better than Sancho has so far, managing it in four campaigns between 1997 and 2001, recording 13, 11, 15 and 12.
Sancho has every chance of hitting at least 10 assists in the Premier League, joining the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in the Man Utd attack, and the Englishman has spoken of his dream move to Old Trafford.
“I’ll always be grateful to Dortmund for giving me the opportunity to play first team football, although I always knew that I would return to England one day,” he told Man Utd’s official website.
“The chance to join Manchester United is a dream come true and I just cannot wait to perform in the Premier League. This is a young and exciting squad and I know, together, we can develop into something special to bring the success that the fans deserve.
“I am looking forward to working with the Manager and his coaching team to further develop my game.”
Sancho’s sentiments were echoed by Solskjaer, who has already already overseen some big transfers to Man Utd including Fernandes, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
“Jadon epitomises the type of player I want to bring to the club, he is a forward player in the best traditions of Manchester United,” Sancho said.
“He will form an integral part of my squad for years to come and we look forward to seeing him blossom. His goals and assists records speak for themselves and he will also bring tremendous pace, flair and creativity to the team.
“Old Trafford will give him the platform he needs to release his untapped talent and perform at the highest level. For a player of his age, Jadon has already achieved a great deal and showed the courage to go and prove himself abroad. We all look forward to welcoming Jadon to the squad as we prepare for the new campaign.”
Sancho will wear no.25 for Man Utd last held by Odion Ighalo, with Cavani keeping the no.7 jersey.