The Hard Tackle takes a look at whether Jadon Sancho is worth an £86 million outlay for suitors like Real Madrid and Manchester United this summer.

The upcoming summer transfer window is going to be an important one for clubs like Borussia Dortmund as they look to keep hold of their star players, including Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland – players who are being courted by almost all of Europe.

Haaland, in particular, is wanted by every top club as he has been identified as a perfect solution for their respective problems in the final third. However, one player who is perhaps even going under the radar a bit is Sancho. Although the Englishman is still on the radars of clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid, it appears they have prioritised a move for Haaland.

Borussia Dortmund themselves have been quite notorious in transfer negotiations and are still persistent on their £86 million price tag despite the current financial climate. And, here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a closer look at what Jadon Sancho offers and whether he is worth the outlay, not just for Premier League giants but also for clubs across Europe.

What does he bring to the table?

Sancho’s unrivalled success at Borussia Dortmund has largely revolved around his impeccable skills on the ball as well as the ability to beat players at will. Although he is not the fastest player at the club, he packs quite a punch.

Such qualities have helped Sancho quickly settle in Dortmund, with the attacker often considered a scourge for the defenders on the counter. It was evident last season, in particular, when the Englishman forged a deadly combination with the pacy Achraf Hakimi on the right flank.

Manchester United to prioritize move for Haaland over Sancho (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Sancho has built a formidable partnership with Erling Haaland. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Aside from his pace and trickery, the former Manchester City prodigy is adept in the technical side of the game. One of his biggest assets, in fact, is the ability to interchange between flanks and keep the opposition occupied. It also makes him a difficult player to mark, as the attacker often switches flank with the likes of Thorgan Hazard and Marco Reus.

Speaking of his teammates, Sancho’s technical prowess means the winger has formed a seemingly telepathic combination with both Erling Haaland and Marco Reus, with the trio being supremely involved in Dortmund’s success over the past year or so.

Moreover, Sancho is not a finisher either and rarely seems to miss scoring opportunities. He is quite composed in front of goal – making him a well-rounded winger, who is more than capable of performing at this level for many years to come.

Age, potential and quality

In order to configure how big of an asset Jadon Sancho truly is for Borussia Dortmund, it is important to compare to him to other individuals of his age, as it would play a huge role in determining his overall market value.

Sancho is currently 21, with almost three and a half years of Bundesliga experience under his belt now. He has featured in 130 competitive appearances for Dortmund, scoring 46 goals while registering 60 assists. The winger has also won 18 caps for the English national team, which is quite an impressive feat for a player of his age.

As far as the other options are concerned, Sancho is the gold standard of Under-21 wingers “potentially” available in the market at the moment, as there are surprisingly not many alternatives with his skills and experience.

Sancho will pose a major threat to Denmark (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Sancho is arguably England’s biggest asset. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka and Mason Greenwood have both been impressive in recent times, but have not been as consistent as Sancho. They are also unlikely to leave their respective clubs anytime soon. From ones who could be available, Barcelona and Real Madrid target Bryan Gil is an interesting option.

But there are perhaps none better than Pedro Neto, who has been one of the bright spots for Wolves this season, and has also been linked with Manchester United as an alternative for Sancho.

Scandinavian duo Mikkel Damsgaard and Jens Petter Hauge have also shown a lot of potential but have a long way to go before they can match Sancho, which can only bode well for Borussia Dortmund as they do have the leverage to increase the player’s valuation as they see fit.

Interested parties, valuation and conclusion

Considering Sancho’s age, quality, experience and what he can bring to the table, it is perhaps needless to argue that his £86 million is a largely a fair one. In fact, the Englishman has been in inspiring form since the turn of the year, which might even convince Dortmund to increase his price tag ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.

Sancho is being courted by a host of clubs across Europe at the moment, perhaps none more so than Manchester United. The Red Devils have been linked with a move for the Englishman for quite some time, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, for one, desperate to bolster his creative options.

While financial shortcomings have historically not been a problem for Manchester United, splashing £86 million could be a challenging task in the current financial climate for multiple reasons.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 26: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund looks on prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund at Veltins-Arena on October 26, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
What does the future hold for the Borussia Dortmund starlet? (Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

One of the main problems the club could face is that they must priorities a move for a new striker and a defender before they can realistically look at someone like Sancho. Indeed, Manchester United have been linked with a host of players throughout this summer and a lot will depend on how they plan on replacing the ageing Edinson Cavani and whether they will be able to sign a cost-effective fix in defence.

It could potentially make things difficult for the Premier League giants to fund such hefty fees for another attacker, knowing it could potentially cripple the club’s finances. United, though, could be set to offload David de Gea, whose potential departure could go a long way in helping the club balance the books, potentially putting them in a better position to sign Sancho.

Time for a parting of ways? – The curious case of David de Gea and Manchester United

Other options for the Dortmund winger include Real Madrid and Liverpool, both of whom are facing a similar financial crunch at the moment. Although the two European giants are likely to be busy in the market, it appears unlikely that they would not want to splash £86 million on a single individual, especially when both the clubs need either a striker or a centre-back.

That said, Chelsea could be a likely destination for Sancho as they do have the financial backing of Roman Abramovich to pull off such big-money moves. The Blues have already shown a lot of intent in the transfer market and are expected to undergo a small overhaul, particularly in the attacking department where Hakim Ziyech, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and even Timo Werder are facing an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge.

It might ideally pave the way for Sancho to join Chelsea and become an ever-present figure in Thomas Tuchel’s attacking setup, alongside his national teammate Mason Mount. Either way, this is going to be an important summer transfer window for Jadon Sancho and indeed for Borussia Dortmund, as it will determine how the club will operate under new coach Marco Rose.

There were very little hopes of Sancho’s prolonged stay at the Signal Iduna Park, but the continued brunt of the pandemic appears to have rekindled the hopes from the BVB fans, as the club looks to keep hold of both him and Haaland and keep them away from the clutches of Real Madrid, Manchester United and others this summer.

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