It was, however, clear to the ambitious teenager that he was not going to get the opportunities he craved in the Premier League, with it likely that his development would be stunted as a result.
Sancho took the brave decision to go in search of regular game outside of England in the summer of 2017 and has seen a switch to Germany handsomely rewarded with competitive minutes and a senior international call-up.
Ince wishes more players would follow that lead and step out of stacked youth squads once it becomes apparent that their progress would be better served elsewhere.
“You’d think with Gareth putting him in the squad he’s in line for some minutes. If not tonight, then he should feature against Spain.
“I’m fed up with all these players stuck in the under-23s not playing for their clubs.
“They can have a lot of talent, a lot of potential, but what good is that if they’re not playing? They need to play. They have to play.
“Look at my boy, Thomas. He was at Liverpool at 19 but then spent time at Notts County and Blackpool.
“Sancho is now playing at Dortmund and he’s really benefitted from that move.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say abroad, but I’d like to see more young players leaving their clubs to get game time.”
He feel his game benefited from such a switch and has urged more British talent to spread its wings, with there a growing number of players now heading to continental Europe.
“Those were the greatest years of my career,” he added.
“Everything there was great. The food, the culture.
“I was a bit apprehensive because there are things you need to consider. Will the wife settle? My boy was two at the time. Finding him a school as well. But they were great years. There was no better place to be.
“Italian football had Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Roberto Baggio. It was a great experience.”