Former Manchester City youngster Jadon Sancho could be on his way back to the Etihad Stadium this summer, according to media reports.
The explosive winger has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs over the past few months following a number of impressive performances in the Bundesliga this season.
Rivalling City for Sancho’s services are arch rivals Manchester United and La Liga giants Real Madrid, with Borrusia Dortmund believed to be looking for a fee in the region of £115m.
The England international left the Citizens for about £8m just three years ago in pursuit of first team football. During that time, he has propelled himself into being one of the first names on the teamsheet for Lucien Favre’s side – registering 20 goals and 20 assists in 41 appearances so far this season.
But the BVB boss has admitted he doesn’t know whether his prize asset will remain at the club beyond this campaign, fueling the rumours around Sancho’s future.
It would mark an incredible turn of events if he does decide to rejoin the Premier League champions, though, with Pep Guardiola and the City hierachy laying down a massive statement of intent.
Now, let’s take a look at how he would fit into the Spaniard’s side.
Manchester City’s strength in depth
Although City look set to surrender their title to Liverpool this season, very few clubs across Europe can argue they possess more strength in depth than the Manchester club.
Adding Sancho to that side would make the competition for places at the Etihad even more fierce, with Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane all vying for a place on the flanks.
But Guardiola loves competition and, aside from star man Kevin DeBruyne, just about everyone’s position in the team is constantly up for grabs.
Sancho would add a different dimension to the current City crop, though, with his ability to play comfortably on either wing – combined with his explosive pace and creative instincts in and around the box – making it incredibly difficult for opposing managers to set up a game plan against him.
Although if he were to make a return to the Etihad, that would surely mark the end of one of the current wingers’ time at the club.
That man could well be Leroy Sane. The 24-year-old has missed all of this season so far through injury and was heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich last year.
The left-winger’s contract is set to run out at the end of next season, leaving City with very little option other than to cash in on him if he continues to refuse to sign an extension on his current deal.
There are very few people that would argue the German international would not be missed, though. His raw pace and direct play were instrumental to the Citizens claiming back-to-back Premier League titles over the past two years.
In his absence, those much-needed attributes are something his side have seriously lacked this season.
But Sancho does possess similar qualities to Sane and, given that the Englishman can offer more creativity across different positions, he is more than capable of filling that gap.
Partnership with Raheem Sterling
One of the happiest people to see the midfielder make the move back to the Etihad could well be England boss Gareth Southgate.
Sancho linking up with Sterling would see two of the national team manager’s brightest stars link up at club level, providing the chance for their relationship to blossom on and off the field.
In the Dortmund man’s short time as part of the England setup, he and his fellow winger have struck up a promising partnership as part of a potent front three with captain Harry Kane.
Both players like to get the ball down and are more than happy switching wings at any point, which can prove to be a nightmare for opposing defenders.
It’s also expected that promising attacking midfielder Phil Foden will receive more minutes next season, as he looks to fill the heavy void left by the departing David Silva.
That will provide another opportunity for one of the England’s emerging talents to develop a club-level partnership with some of his future international colleagues.
If City can secure the services of Sancho once again this summer, that would be great business. Although some people will argue the club are making a huge loss on the deal they made with Dortmund three years ago, this is an entirely different Sancho to the one they owned back in 2017.
The youngster has gone away, earned his stripes, and now has the choice of where amongst Europe’s elite he wants to play his football next year.
From his perspective, if he were to join City, that would provide him with another opportunity to work with Guardiola – and chances like that don’t come around all that often.
If the club and Sancho can reach an agreement, then this deal makes perfect sense for both parties moving forward and would place the Citizens in a strong position to regain their title next season.
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