Jadon Sancho was handed his first competitive start for England in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Czech Republic at Wembley.
He provided an assist for Raheem Sterling’s opening goal of the 5-0 win and put in an enterprising shift on the right.
Here, Football Paradise takes a closer look at the teenager’s performance.
Having been named in Gareth Southate’s side he became the third youngest England player to start an competitive fixture at Wembley, behind Duncan Edwards in 1955 and Michael Owen in 1998. He started on the right of a three-man attack, which included Sterling and Harry Kane, and got his chance because of Marcus Rashford’s injury. He was not restricted to the right, though, as he often drifted into the middle to take up central positions and also popped up on the left. He was involved throughout the match, giving left-back Filip Novak a night to forget at Wembley and proving himself capable at this level.
King of the assists
He may be three days shy of his 19th birthday, but Sancho is already in esteemed company this season, as he and Lionel Messi have made more assists than any other player in the top five European leagues with 12 apiece. And he needed only 24 minutes to get his first in an England shirt as he teed up Sterling for the opener. It was a fine run in behind left-back Novak and, in exactly the sort of position that he has taken up for Borussia Dortmund so many times this season, he rolled the ball across for a tap-in.
He’s got the X Factor
It is easy to see why Sancho has hogged the column inches this season and has been spoken about in the gushing way that he has. He brings excitement to the game and he is fearless with the way he attacks with his lightning pace and unrelenting directness. When he gets the ball, something does not always happen, but you know it might. There were a few unsuccessful dribbles throughout the match, but also a moment of trickery as he nutmegged Novak and then tried an audacious flick around David Pavelka which earned a corner.
A near miss
Sancho should have marked his first competitive start with an assist and a goal as he will never have a better chance to get on the scoresheet for his country. After another fast-flowing move, involving Sterling and Harry Kane, the England captain pulled it back to Sancho who was six yards out, but his shot was blocked by Novak.
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