Teenage midfielders get call-ups by England

Marcus Newton
October 8, 2018

Sancho, 18, is yet to start in the Bundesliga for Dortmund this season but has five assists and one goal in just 125 minutes of league action.

England manager Gareth Southgate, 48, revealed the reasons behind his contract extension.

With Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard injured and Adam Lallana and Ruben Loftus-Cheek making their way back to fitness, Southgate has turned to youth.

One element of Southgate's leadership to come in for particular praise has been a continued faith in young players over more experienced campaigners who are unlikely to contribute a great deal in the long run.

"He's a player that we know has good technical quality, is grasping the tactical side of the game - I was interested to read his interviews this morning on that - so it's a good opportunity for him to come in".

Exciting Borussia Dortmund 18-year-old Sancho has been selected for this month's fixtures and becomes the first player born this century to be called up by the senior team.

"I feel as if there's still a chance to improve what we're doing", Southgate said after extending his contract.

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With England, Sancho has won Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup in 2017 the UEFA European Under-17 Championship Golden Player and was part of the Team of the Tournament.

Sancho, a gifted wide midfielder who is 17, joined Dortmund from Manchester City previous year and has broken through this season, scoring one goal and providing seven assists in nine games mostly off the bench.

"But we think they are performing well with their clubs, they're confident players".

The 21-year-old has scored three goals and picked up two assists in only seven appearances for Claude Puel's side, impressive form that has caught the eye of the England boss.

"He is a player that excites us a lot, he is adapting to a big football club and he has had two starts in the Champions League this year". The selection of Sancho and Mount, as well as set-piece specialist Maddison, is Southgate's way of confronting that problem.

Midfielders: Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), James Maddison (Leicester City), Mason Mount (on loan at Derby County from Chelsea). Injuries and a lack of game time have led to some moves being fast-tracked, but Southgate has no qualms about playing the youngsters in this month's tough Nations League double-header in Croatia and Spain.

Gareth Southgate says the "big call" to select Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho aligns with England's current philosophy.

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