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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund: Jadon Sancho 'can't wait' to play in front of family at Wembley

England winger set to line up for the Bundesliga leaders against the Premier League club in the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday

Jadon Sancho is set to return to England with Borussia Dortmund for a Uefa Champions League tie against Tottenham Hotspur. Reuters
Jadon Sancho is set to return to England with Borussia Dortmund for a Uefa Champions League tie against Tottenham Hotspur. Reuters

Jadon Sancho has said he is relishing the opportunity to play in front of his family as the Borussia Dortmund winger prepares to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Uefa Champions League last-16 on Wednesday.

England international Sancho, who started his youth career at Watford, made the move to the German club last summer from Manchester City in search of first team opportunities, his decision proving right having started 14 of 21 league games this season.

Sancho, 18, is now set to return to London with Dortmund to take on Tottenham in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 at Wembley, and the teenager has revealed he has been bombarded with ticket requests.

"Everyone was messaging me saying, 'I need a ticket! It's big. I'll be playing in front of my family, which is something I've always wanted to do since I was a young boy. It's Wembley. I can't wait."

As he has done all season, Sancho shone on Saturday, scoring the opening goal and setting up his side's other two in a 3-3 draw for the Bundesliga leaders at home to Hoffenheim.

The match against Spurs on Wembley's hallowed turf is a homecoming for Sancho, one of the stars of an impressive Dortmund team seeking to dethrone Bayern Munich this season.

Sancho joined Watford's youth set-up aged seven, but left home aged just 11 to board at the club's Harefield Academy when travelling across London became an issue.

His performances attracted Premier League giants Manchester City in March 2015. He caught the eye of City manager Pep Guardiola with 12 goals, creating four more, in 14 games for City's Under-18 Premier League team in 2016/17.

However, Sancho was dropped from the senior squad in July 2017 after refusing to sign a new contract due to a lack of assurances over playing time.

Dortmund stepped in and Sancho signed a five-year deal, and he is clear about why he joined the Bundesliga giants.

"It was about the youngsters here getting opportunities," he added after starting 14 of 21 league games this season. I couldn't thank them more."

But Sancho has not forgotten his tough south London roots, adding: "I know what it is like growing up in that area. I don't want to go into details, but it's not nice, especially when you have people around you doing bad things.

"I hope I can give a positive message for the kids in south London - don't do those bad things. You don't have to be footballers. You could focus on your school work.

"Education is the most important thing and I am lucky enough that I had the opportunity to go to Harefield. I wanted to stay at home and travel, but the people around me told me what was best.

"I listened to them and I am happy that I am where I am, here today."

Out of sight does not mean Sancho is out of mind for England manager Gareth Southgate.

"Last time I spoke to Gareth was when I left, but (England assistant coach) Steve Holland came over recently and told me what the plan was with the Nations League coming up," said Sancho.

Having made his England debut in October as a substitute in the goalless draw against Croatia, he'll no doubt soon be swapping Dortmund's yellow and black for the white of the Three Lions.

Updated: February 12, 2019 10:42 AM

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