Jadon Sancho: ‘It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to work for this’

Teenager Sancho has become a first-team regular in Germany since leaving Manchester City and will be back in London to face Spurs at Wembley on Wednesday

“My friends in Kennington always ask me: ‘Can I have a shirt for my little brother or my cousin?’ And I always send them shirts,” says Jadon Sancho. “I will never forget where I have come from because I know what it is like growing up in that area … it is not nice. Especially when you have people around you doing bad things.”

More than a month away from celebrating his 19th birthday, the first player born this millennium to represent England and a trailblazer for his generation is holding court at Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion. Dressed in a turquoise green tracksuit and immaculate matching trainers, the unassuming Sancho does not come across as the most coveted teenager in world football as he makes a point of shaking hands with every journalist around the table with the greeting, “nice to meet you”. Clearly at ease in his surroundings in western Germany as he prepares for his return to London to face Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday, he is taller and broader in the shoulders than this time last year; something the makers of the Fifa video game may want to take note of. “I am stronger than it says,” he says, laughing. The boy from the Guinness Trust Buildings estate who left home at 12 has now become a man.

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