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'Maverick' Sancho has only shown a tenth of his talent & can become England star, says former coach

11:20 EAT 05/09/2019
Jadon Sancho England
Louis Lancaster, who worked with the youngster in Watford’s academy system, believes there is much more to come from the exciting 19-year-old winger

Jadon Sancho has only shown "one tenth of what's to come", says his former youth coach Louis Lancaster, and he's being tipped to become a talismanic "maverick" for England.

At just 19 years of age, the exciting frontman has already achieved plenty across his short career to date .

Sancho has become a key man at Bundesliga title hopefuls Borussia Dortmund, taking in 60 appearances and recording 17 goals, while also earning six senior international caps.

He could figure for the Three Lions again in their Euro 2020 qualification clash with Bulgaria at Wembley on Saturday, with Lancaster expecting big things from the youngster .

A man who previously worked with Sancho in the academy system at Watford told Sky Sports : "I think he's going to continue to surprise people.

"His game is so fast-paced, it's very direct. When a player gets the ball, they've got a soft option, get the stats up, make the simple pass, or you can make it 75 per cent of the time but everything's forward. What you're seeing from Jadon is a 19-year-old boy with a lot of maturity.

"It's great that Gareth Southgate is giving the youth a chance, other countries use these flair players because they trust them - they can be a hero or a villain. They might not track that runner or something like that, but when it's the 89th minute they might produce something magical.

"It's like a computer game - you might have a favourite character because they have a signature move. I think players need that. With Jadon, the best players might have two aspects of their game which are 10/10, but a couple more which are five or six. But those signatures help them get where they are. When you're working with players like Jadon, you have a question to ask yourself 'do you develop the strength, or work on the weaknesses?'

"I worked on my Pro Licence on 'what is a maverick? How do you get the best out of them?' I interviewed managers, players and mavericks themselves - and I interviewed Jadon. Even when he was younger he was completely fearless, and he always wanted to be the best player.

"I always ask young players three questions. The first is 'what's the dream?' When I asked him, he looked me clear in the face and said 'I want to play for one of Europe's top clubs and represent my country'. I asked him why? And he said 'to make my family proud of me'. He can't have been any older than 13."

Lancaster, who is now coach of the Chinese Taipei national side, added on a player he spent two years with before Sancho headed to Manchester City: "I'm extremely proud of what he's doing, but I don't even think you've seen one tenth of what's to come. He's going to keep pushing and pushing and pushing.

"When he was a kid in training, if we had 14 players, I don't like to go 7 vs 7 just because it looks beautiful. I'd say to him, we're going to go 9 vs 5 instead, and he'd say put me on the five because he wants to be challenged.

"You're talking about a young boy, willing to move away from his family for sport. That takes a lot of guts. You can measure him on his dribbles, his goals, but how much courage does that take? How much courage does he have? It takes a lot.

"That's someone who has a dream and will do anything to get there. Steve Redgrave, Usain Bolt, it's like an iceberg - you only see the top, not the stuff going on underneath how they got there. That's him."