Borussia Dortmund’s technical director, Michael Zorc, who signed English teenage prodigy Jadon Sancho for £8 million, says the Bundesliga will continue to offer first-team opportunities to top players in Premier League academies who find their way blocked by expensive signings.
The German club, who face Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday at Wembley in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie, have seen Sancho develop into arguably Europe’s most promising young attacking talent this season and continue to scout English academies. Sancho, 18, joined in the summer of 2017 and before this weekend has played 27 games in all competitions this season, with seven goals and 12 assists.
Sancho scored again on Saturday against Hoffenheim and registered another assist in a 3-3 draw. Dortmund led 3-0 with 15 minutes to play but conceded three goals in the space of eight minutes.
Zorc said: “The biggest advantage – and it is what young boys are looking for – is that they have the chance to play. And because of this difference in money to spend on players then maybe the German teams are a bit more forced to give these younger players chances to play.”
He said: “We scouted Jadon for the first time in August 2016, one year ahead of when we signed him. We mainly watched him for his matches with the Under-17s of England and of course when he played for Man City in the youth league games. [Borussia] Monchengladbach played [City] in this season. You could easily recognise his outstanding talent. And therefore it was very easy.”
Zorc said that the club had made the transition as easy as possible for Sancho, with his father, Sean, in Dortmund for most of the time and a meeting last year with Dan Ashworth, then the technical director of the Football Association. Most of all, though, he said that young players, and Sancho in particular, joined Dortmund because of the prospect of first-team football.