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01st Oct 2021

Gareth Southgate admits Jadon Sancho was lucky to retain England spot

Callum Boyle

Sancho has struggled to impress since his move to United

England boss Gareth Southgate has admitted Jadon Sancho was lucky to be named in his squad for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

The 21-year-old has struggled to make an impact since his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United in the summer, failing to register a goal or an assist in his first eight appearances.

Southgate confessed that while he is aware that Sancho’s current form probably doesn’t warrant a call-up to the England squad, he has done so to avoid adding to Sancho’s concerns while he adapts to life in the Premier League.

He said: “Does he deserve to be in on these performances over the last few weeks? Well, probably not, but we have invested in Jadon over a period of time.

“We believe he can get to a high level. I’d like time to chat with him and help that process that’s going on at United. For him to feel that we have belief in him, at this point, is a good message. So, again, there is no perfect solution here.”

Sancho’s move from the Bundesliga side Dortmund caused great waves of excitement but he is yet to replicate the form that had him labelled as one of the most promising young players in the world.

Southgate knows that it will take time for the youngster to get to grips with Premier League football.

“The Bundesliga is totally different,” said Southgate. “Dortmund is a big club but Manchester United is one of the biggest in the world. There’s a definite adaptation to the league. You’re not going to get anywhere near the goals and assist numbers in our league that you are in the Bundesliga.

“There are some very good teams but also it’s a good league for young players to develop because there are some teams that aren’t at that level. In our league, every game is intense and tough and he’s probably just starting to realise that.”

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