It took a little time for the rust to be scraped off but in the second half of Borussia Dortmund’s 6-1 rout over the Bundesliga’s basement team Paderborn yesterday evening, Jadon Sancho showed exactly why he is being billed as a generational talent worth a £120million transfer fee.
The headline takeaway was the Chelsea and Manchester United target’s first senior hat-trick but there was much to extract from his overall play as he brushed aside a distinctly average opening half with a spell of dazzling attacking play.
Perhaps the most striking element was how clinical and efficient it all looked; no shot wasted, hardly any passes missing their target.
Sancho attempted three shots, all found the net. He played five key passes, a number unmatched across the Bundesliga this weekend, and finished with a pass completion rate of 92%.
Rare is the young player capable of acting so ruthlessly.
There was still a feeling at full-time yesterday that the England international is working his way back into fitness, not yet back to his peak following so long out without regular minutes.
Sancho has now contributed directly to 33 goals in 27 Bundesliga appearances, 22 of them as a starter, with 17 goals and 16 assists.
Only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski and RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner have scored more.
Bayern’s Thomas Muller is the only player to register more assists.
No one has been involved in so many combined and this was a clear message to those chasing his signature that he is worth the outlay.
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Undoubtedly what Dortmund are holding out for is an eye-watering sum in the current climate, likely too rich for any potential suitors including the Blues.
But they will allow him to leave once those expectations are met and if we were heading into an ordinary transfer window, many would be saying such a big-money acquisition could be worth every penny.
Will one of the interested parties spend what is required?