Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson believes Manchester United will be completely convinced Jadon Sancho is poised to become one of football’s biggest stars.
United and Borussia Dortmund have agreed a deal in principle for the transfer of Sancho, which is worth around £73million and expected to be completed after his involvement in Euro 2020.
Winger Sancho is reportedly poised to make his first start in the competition when England do battle against Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.
Leaked team news ahead of the quarter-final tie suggests Bukayo Saka is struggling through injury and that Sancho will get a chance to start on the right wing, with Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling completing the trio who will provide support to lone striker Harry Kane.
Sancho has featured for just six minutes in the tournament so far, despite scoring 50 goals and providing 57 assists in 137 appearances across all competitions for Dortmund.
He became the first Englishman to reach at least 10 assists for three straight seasons in Europe’s top-five leagues since former United star David Beckham, who achieved the feat between 1997-98 and 2000-01.
Indeed, only Thomas Muller (48) and Lionel Messi (43) have managed to provide more assists at that league level since the start of the 2018-19 campaign than Sancho (41).
Ex-Manchester City boss Eriksson is sure United would not have made such a big move in a transfer market that is seeing club finances impacted by the coronavirus pandemic without having certainty.
“He’s 21 years old and he should have a great future,” Eirksson told Stats Perform.
“The scouts and the coaches of Manchester United, they have will have looked at that 100 times.
“They are sure that the this player will be the future, important in the future otherwise they wouldn’t pay all that money.
“So when he’s coming back to England then there no doubts about it.
“I don’t see many games from German league but what I can understand is that he’s a great talent and it is interesting to see him.
“There you have it with how important the Premier League is. They can take all the best players in the world and that is good for England.”
Sterling, meanwhile, has scored in 13 matches for England and whenever he has done so the Three Lions have gone on to achieve victory.
A disappointing conclusion to his season individually for City meant many doubters were questioning his starting place for the Euros but he has responded emphatically with three goals.
Eriksson believes Sterling is primed to star further in the latter stages now that he has his confidence back.
“He is that kind of player who can create by himself, even when he is one against one with his speed and so on,” added Eriksson.
“But also, which is very important in these knockout games – so important – he has the confidence now.
“He is sure he can create against any team – against anyone. So that means a lot when you go into this game against Ukraine.
“And that’s why I said also about Harry Kane – he was successful during [just] some minutes in the last game, but that was enough, because he scored.
“Sterling, yes, he thinks he’s the best in the world today. And maybe he is, but just that he thinks he is the best in the world is extremely important and he will create a lot of problems for Ukraine.”
The rest of England’s team will reportedly see Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice continue as a duo in central midfield, with a back four of Luke Shaw, John Stones, Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker in front of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
That would mean Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish has to settle for a place among the substitutes.