Sir Geoff Hurst – England’s 1966 World Cup hat-trick hero and Grosvenorsport.com ambassador – shares his thoughts on Jadon Sancho ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League tie between Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur
I’m a big fan of Jadon Sancho, and I was delighted to hear that he had signed for Borussia Dortmund because going and playing in Germany is a great experience for our young English players.
It’s exciting for the player himself, but also exciting for people here to see a young English player doing well in a tough and high quality league.
Sometimes we see players go to lower league English teams on loan to gain experience and toughen up, but Jadon chose a different route which allows him to experience a different culture, language and challenge himself outside his comfort zone which is excellent for his development.
You can see already that people have taken notice of him for what he’s achieved there, and it’s meant he’s forced his way into the England squads.
More English youngsters should follow in Sancho’s footsteps
I think young English players should go to places like Germany, France and Spain rather than lower league English sides – particularly Germany because that is their main sport and the crowds they draw are huge and it allows players to play in great atmospheres and learn to play under pressure.
Some people here have criticised the decisions of some players to go and play in different leagues without knowing too much about it. There’s been a few who have gone to Germany when they are established and at the peak of their careers, such as Kevin Keegan.
But Jadon Sancho has opened up the opportunity for younger players to go abroad and be successful. I would say the best place to go and learn is in Germany.
I would have loved to play in Germany
I’d have jumped at the opportunity to go and play abroad had anybody been interested in me. I would have loved to have played in Germany at one of the big clubs – Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.
There has always been a great connection between club football and international football in Germany, and I’ve always been a big fan of German football so I would have loved to play there in front of some big crowds.
Tomorrow’s match is one of the most exciting ties in the Champions League and, although I hope to see Spurs progress, I’ll be delighted if Jadon Sancho can show English football what they are missing.
I won’t be surprised to see Jadon back in England in the next few years, probably back at one of the top six teams. For now, he should make the most of his time in Germany and continue to make his mark in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League.