MARGAO: There are many instances where reputed players were called back from international duty by their respective clubs. To a certain extent, it is because of the hectic schedule of the long season. Especially with the World Cup qualifiers going on, it is quite understandable as the top European clubs don’t want their best players to miss out on crucial fixtures. But how often do you see an U-17 player, who has barely had any experience at the European or world level, be called back?
This is the story of Jadon Sancho – the superstar of the English U-17 team – who recently joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City. He moved to the German club this summer, in search of more first-team opportunities after spending years with the famed Manchester City academy, which is regarded as one of the best in England. It makes sense as the number of academy graduates getting first team action are a rarity in football these days with the influx of money. Also, with the squad that Pep Guardiola has assembled this season, comprising established stars from all over Europe, it will be a bonus if he gets playing time even in League Cup games.
Though Dortmund is known for creating superstars out of nothing, Ousmane Dembele being the latest, it is not sure if Sancho will start a competitive fixture anytime soon. With a 50-50 chance of a debut, the US coach, John Hackworth feels that it is something very disappointing. “As a national team coach, my opinion is always going to be biased. This (World Cup) is the ultimate thing that you can play for and I don’t know why a club would take that away, especially from a young player. Jadon is a fantastic player and he is only going to get better. And I don’t understand why Dortmund would do that and I disagree with it. I think he should have been playing on Saturday,” he said.
But in the end, a player’s future is something that lies with the club. Competitions with the national side are not that frequent and every player would love to play competitive football throughout the year so that they can test themselves against the best. Timothy Weah of the US who has signed a professional contract with PSG recently feels that it is a very tricky situation. “It’s kind of sad that he got called back because I know that he wants to play for his country. As a player, you can’t really put yourself on between your club and national team. It’s really hard. So you just want to do whatever your club wants you to do. Even if you have a future with the national team, it’s only a youth World Cup. If I was in the same situation, I wouldn’t know what to do and I would let my lawyer make a decision for me,” Weah said.