By the time Jadon Sancho, nursing a minor calf injury, had emerged from his socially-distanced seat on the sidelines to grace the Westfalenstadion pitch for the first time in more than two months, the result had long been assured.
But for the final 12 minutes of Borussia Dortmund’s impressive destruction of bitter rivals Schalke there were still a couple of wider points to note for Chelsea fans salivating over the possibility of a transfer for the England attacker.
Ultimately this was a game that, aside from the obvious storylines, proved Dortmund are a slick attacking force even without their leading creator and goalscorer (until Erling Haaland inevitably overtakes him in the latter category soon).
Either way Dortmund are not going to allow Sancho to leave cheaply and in these uncertain financial times it is unclear whether Chelsea or any other Premier League club would be willing to meet the German side’s current asking price of £120million.
In ordinary circumstances and compared to recent transfers that seems a normal fee but it seems a little irresponsible in this climate.
Maybe he will be allowed to leave for a little less and it is clear that a significant number of Chelsea fans are desperate for him to join the club he supported as a boy.
Is any player worth more than £100milllion right now? We just need to wait and see.
There will be games in the coming weeks – we hope – and certainly in the past that will have been far more instructive than this cameo but the mere presence of European football’s current hottest young property was still cause for excitement.
The No7’s first touches came in a deep area but it was not long before he was trying to get on the end of a slightly overhit Haaland pass across the penalty area.
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The game’s tempo had long dropped to training pace, Schalke resigned to their humiliation, and for much of Sancho’s time on the pitch it was simply a case of the hosts keeping ball and toying with their neighbours.
Sancho had 14 touches in 12 minutes, completing eight of his nine attempted passes. Good for stats fans but not much for those who use their eye to make judgments to form opinions on.
There was not even stoppage time added on at the end of the 90 minutes but it was a day that showed Dortmund will likely do just fine if the Londoner returns home in the next transfer window.