This is it. We’ve made it to the pointy end of our countdown of the ten best Liverpool signings of the 2010s. Today: pick No. 1.
Jadon Sancho is clearly a young man who isn’t afraid of making a big decision.
Back in 2017 the then 17-year-old turned down a lucrative first professional contract at Manchester City and instead opted to join the ever-increasing legion of young English talent who ply their trade in the Bundesliga.
It’s safe to say City’s loss was Borussia Dortmund’s gain. Instead of running the risk of limited first-team minutes and potential stagnation at the Etihad, Sancho was thrust straight into action at the Westfalenstadion, his displays earning him rave reviews and a call up from Gareth Southgate to the senior England team, where he has continued to flourish.
Now the talented youngster faces another big call in his fledgling career. Amid rumours of a falling out with Dortmund hierarchy, reports are linking the winger with a move back to the UK in the January transfer window, with Liverpool believed to be heading the queue.
But how would the South London-born prodigy fit into Jurgen Klopp’s plans? Would Sancho expect to walk straight into a Liverpool side currently swatting aside their rivals?
Certainly the Reds front three need little introduction. The attacking trident of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino helped Liverpool secure their sixth European title, and the team’s now well placed to finally end their 30-year wait for a domestic title.
Rather than immediately break up the ‘fab three’, Sancho may at first have settle for a place on the bench.
That said, after an arduous December schedule Liverpool could still be chasing honours on four fronts come the new year. Rotation will be key. Klopp will no doubt be looking to shuffle his pack to rest weary legs. In addition, none of the current Liverpool front line enjoyed a summer off. Salah and Mane were leading Egypt and Senegal’s respective charge in the Africa Cup of Nations and Firmino was part of the victorious Brazil Copa America team.
A move for Sancho could also offer Klopp another tactical variation, such as a switch from his favoured 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1. With Sancho equally adept on either flank, such a move could accommodate all four attackers.
With six assists already this term, Sancho is known for his creative prowess. Where Klopp may be looking for improvements is in his goal output. His average of 1.7 shots per 90 minutes is way behind Mane (2.4), Firmino (3.2) and Salah (3.6).
The 19-year-old’s speed, acceleration and high energy attributes should see him fit in seamlessly to Jurgen Klopp’s brand of ‘heavy-metal football’. However, the youngster may have to clean up his apparent tardy timekeeping that has reportedly caused some of the friction he’s experiencing at Dortmund.
To secure the signature of one of Europe’s hottest properties will come at a premium, with the Reds certain to have to smash their current transfer record of £75 million (A$144 million) paid for Virgil van Dijk.
The prospect of seeing Sancho unleashed on Premier League defences and working in tandem with another young English starlet like Trent Alexander-Arnold is a tantalising one. Although some may baulk at the potential fee, Sancho’s world-class potential and Klopp’s track record in improving attacking talent makes this a logical move.