Manchester United are all hot and bothered over Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho but one former player isn’t convinced he’s the savior executives at Old Trafford believe he is.
In an interview with Sky Sports (via Goal), Gary Neville praised Sancho but warned that when compared to the best footballers outside of England, he still has a lot to prove.
“To be honest, Jadon Sancho in this moment of time…we get carried away.”
“I think we’ve got an amazing group of young English players. But we have to consider the other players that exist, Brazilian players, Argentine players, German players, Belgium players—we are not the only country in the world.”
“That’s how it was as an England player and an England coach, ‘we have a golden generation.’ You say golden generation and obviously, it was Becks (David Beckham), Stevie [Gerrard], Frank [Lampard], [Wayne] Rooney, but then Brazil had Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo, what’s the…platinum?”
“You say we have a golden generation but you forget these other countries have world stars. It’s like, ‘hang on a second.’ Agentina have [Sergio] Augero, [Gonzalo] Higuain, [Lionel] Messi, [Angel] Di Maria, how good are they compared to Jadon Sancho? Jadon Sancho is nowhere near these players.”
“Let’s be clear, Jadon Sancho is a talent, but we can’t start putting him in the category with world stars who are winning European cups and World Cups regularly, season in, season out.”
Is Jadon Sancho better than Angel Di Maria 🤔 pic.twitter.com/xmYPcfkJru
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 26, 2020
Neville is spot on with his assessment of Sancho and the situation, in my opinion. This season, the 20-year-old has scored 17 goals and recorded 19 assists in 35 appearances, which is fantastic for a player of his age in a competitive league like the Bundesliga.
However, he has yet to show that he can take his game to the next level when it matters most. Last month, Dortmund could have knocked Paris Saint-Germain out of the UEFA Champions League in the Round of 16 but the Ligue 1 leaders won 2-0 at the Parc des Princes thanks to goals from Neymar Jr. and Juan Bernat and advanced to the quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate.
During the match, Sancho played well, receiving a 7.1 rating from WhoScored.com, but compared to Di Maria, though, it wasn’t quite good enough as the Argentine was rated an 8.0 and recorded an assist.
This isn’t meant to be a slight towards Sancho. He’s a player that every top club would like to have, but what Neville is essentially saying here is the media and fans shouldn’t put the former Manchester City youth product on a pedestal and anoint him as one of the best footballers in the world just because he’s English and has scored a bunch of goals. He still has a lot of work to do and everyone needs to be patient.
Sancho will get his move to the Premier League when the transfer window opens up and hopefully, he’s ready for the bright lights that come with playing in that league. That’s the only way to prove he’s on the level of Di Maria and other more accomplished players.
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