Jadon Sancho was a relatively unknown name in the footballing world, now he is the most intriguing example of everything wrong with the Premier League youth system.
Indeed, you would do well to find a football fan who is not aware of the story of Jadon Sancho, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.
It is by no means easy breaking through into the professional world as a youngster.
Think about how many individuals enter the football league machine as prospects only to be churned out at a later age with no hope, no goal, nor dream.
Now times the difficulty of that ten-fold – What does it make? The Premier League youth system.
The financial clout of England’s top division has made it one of the most competitive and exciting in the world. Some of the best players occupy our screens every week for our entertainment, plying their trade thousands of miles from their home in South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and every other corner of the world.
But what kind of impact has that had on our young players? The ones who see their places occupied by exotic and expensive talents.
Take Sancho for example. A clearly gifted player – one now valued at around £100m according to the Telegraph – who found himself fighting his way through Manchester City in the hope that he could compete with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane for a place in the first-team. He had no chance.
In Germany, however, they had all the faith in the world in him. And all it cost was a meagre £7m (as per The Guardian). A monumentally small price considering the numbers current numbers being thrown around.
According to whoscored.com, the young Englishman (10) sits behind only Lionel Messi (11) and Eden Hazard (11) for the most assists provided in the top European leagues this season, which is crazy considering his peripheral role in the Manchester City academy.
In fact, perhaps his success has made certain sections of the Manchester City support think twice about the club’s academy. With a potential transfer ban looming, maybe it won’t be so scary after all, if talents like that are lurking behind the scenes in Manchester.
Maybe, just maybe, they don’t need big signings after all.
A real headscratcher for us.
Manchester City fans, is selling Jadon Sancho your biggest regret in recent years? Let us know in the comments section below…