His season started slowly but he’s on top form now and starting to emerge as a leader.
Our Bundesliga player of the week is …
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
“COME ON, LET’S GO!”
A tricky winger, not one to thunder into tackles, a bit quiet off the pitch. Jadon Sancho isn’t the sort of player you’d usually associate with loud roars and impassioned delight.
But you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
Sancho ended Saturday’s Revierderby wearing the captain’s armband, crouching down and applauding his team-mates for wining the ball. When the final whistle blew, he bellowed his joy for all to hear.
You’d never guess that he’d hoped to leave Dortmund last summer.
Huge favourites heading into the derby, Dortmund struggled to get going, with Schalke buoyed by the occasion and the visitors a little inhibited by the expectation that they would complete a first league double over their local rivals since 2012.
Then, shortly before half-time, they burst into life.
Sancho scored the opener, pouncing on a turnover to find the near corner from the edge of the box. As he ran away in celebration he almost took his shirt off but hesitated, then decided to pat the badge on his chest instead.
There can be no doubt that he is committed to the Dortmund cause right now.
Minutes later and the lead was doubled.
It may have been Erling Haaland who stole the attention with a superb acrobatic finish but it was Sancho who found him with a perfectly floated ball into the box.
“It takes two to tango!” the Englishman told Norwegian TV after the game.
“When I looked up I saw Erling in some space, and it was strange for me to see him alone. I know what he can do so I just lifted it in the air and he did the rest.”
Dortmund withstood some early second half pressure to score two more and seal a superb win in what is almost certain to be the last Bundesliga Revierderby for some time.
The win was crucial in terms of the bigger picture too, with the club chasing the top four.
“We know what we’re capable of. The recent weeks haven’t been so good, we haven’t got the results we wanted, but I think we showed the fans in the last two games that we’re still fighting and it’s not over.”
Sancho has already had a personal turnaround. After a slow start to the season, the 20-year-old now has seven goals and six assists in his last 12 appearances.
Saturday was the third time since Christmas that saw him register both a goal and an assist.
Now he’ll be hoping his uptick in form helps Dortmund improve as the season enters crunch time.