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Of all the youth international tournaments England were involved in this summer, the team which went most under the radar were the under-17s who reached the final of the European Under-17 Championships.
The under-20s were rightly applauded for their world cup win and given plenty of column inches both online and in print as a result. The under-19s were similarly lauded for their European Under-19 Championship victory, while what was effectively a reserve under-20 side retained the Toulon Tournament.
Even the under-21s drew praise for reaching the semi-finals of the European Championships where they were knocked out by Germany on penalties.
The under-17 squad, however, contained one of the most exciting young English talents around, and one who is currently involved in a transfer tug-of-war between two of the country’s biggest rivals
Jadon Sancho, the Manchester City winger, looks set to join Spurs amid concerns that he’ll struggle to break into Pep Guardiola’s first team. Arsenal had at one stage been favourites but Spurs have jumped ahead of their North London neighbours.
The 17-year old is yet to make a senior appearance but is widely considered one of the most promising talents in his age group, which is reflected in his success in England’s youth side.
He scored five goals and managed five assists in the aforementioned European Championships, and his outstanding performances saw him handed the player of the tournament award despite his side’s loss to Spain on penalties in the final.
He’s likely to take part in the upcoming Under-17 World Cup which takes place in India during October, and the competition could see his stock rise even further as he’s guaranteed to perform should he take part, such is his talent.
During the 2016/17 club season he managed 20 goals and seven assists in 33 appearances in the various youth competitions Manchester City were involved in, establishing himself as a wide forward rather than just a winger.
He’s been compared to Barcelona attacker and Brazilian sensation Neymar, a parallel which has come about thanks to his tricks, skill, speed, and ability to score goals as a right-footer playing from the left.
He even retweeted a tweet from Demarai Gray showing one of his many highlights and making the same Neymar comparison, so it’s not something he’s shirking.
If he does sign for Mauricio Pochettino then he's going to have to make changes to his Twitter account, his profile picture currently shows him with his friend and Arsenal youth player, Reiss Nelson, at The Emirates.
There’s no reason Sancho shouldn’t be given the chance at Manchester City, though. The club’s chairman, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak has spoken of his desire to bring through young talent, and even name checked Sancho.
“You look at Sancho, you look at Phil Foden, you look at Brahim Diaz , just to name a few, these are players that are extremely talented. These are players who have a very good chance of making it to the first team,” he said.
“And these are players that if you ask Pep today he will tell you they can and will be first team players at Manchester City.”
The amount of games the club have in a typical season, especially a successful one as they hope this will be, can see the fixture list become hectic with two games almost every week. This is where the likes of Sancho should get his chance; in games when regular first-teamers such as Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling are rested.
But if the player believes there’s a chance he’ll struggle to break through, then there’s no doubt that the best thing for him to do would be to move to a club where this will happen.
At 17 he’s at an age where he should be laying the groundwork for regular first team football by making sporadic appearances in the senior side throughout the season, with a view to proving himself for the next campaign.
The player definitely has the talent, he just needs the chance to apply it at the top level. Even though 17 seems young for a first team footballer, many of the very best players begin to make impressions at their club by their late teens.
This will explain the link with Spurs, and in particular Pochettino, who is a manager renowned for bringing youth through and giving them a chance.
A club which takes advantage of Sancho's current situation could find that it's the most astute piece of business they'll do this year.
The fees and the wages surrounding any deal might seem high for such a young player, and more akin to those of an already established first team player, but this is what Sancho will become, and then some.