Jadon Sancho’s spot in England’s Euro squad shouldn’t even be a debate

Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund UEFA Champions Leagu baae7b618c859891e27bb288a5a87698
Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund UEFA Champions Leagu baae7b618c859891e27bb288a5a87698

There are a lot of players who are in the will they/won't they debate when it comes to their place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for this summer's European Championship.

Danny Ings? Maybe. Conor Coady? He could be there. James Maddison? A tricky one.

But Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho? How is his spot in the team even remotely uncertain?

? "I think he's going to be a star of the future" @Carra23 on why Jude Bellingham is in his Euro 2020 squad.

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 5, 2021

On Monday Night Football, we saw Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher select their final 23-man squad for the Euros, but somehow neither of them could find a spot for a player who has been one of the Bundesliga's best this season.

12 goals and 16 assists in 31 appearances for Dortmund this season is an outstanding return from Sancho, who hasn't even needed to be at his best to tear up Germany's top tier. He's the fourth-best creator in the division, putting up better numbers than European heavyweights like Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane.

When it comes to Englishmen, only Harry Kane and Jack Grealish have managed more assists at club level than Sancho, but that doesn't mean anything apparently. Let's drop him for third-choice striker Mason Greenwood, whose one Premier League assist this season is obviously worth more because it came in England.

Sancho has torn up one of Europe's best divisions | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

That's no slight on Greenwood. He's a great talent, but he's not on Sancho's level right now. That's not an insult, that's a fact.

If we're discounting dominance in the Bundesliga, shall we all just give up on Erling Haaland? This kid only has 33 goals in 32 appearances this year, but we don't know if he can do it on a wet Monday night in Stoke, so he's probably worth about a tenner at best. He doesn't have a Sky Sports highlight reel, so why should we care?

Somehow, we've ended up in a narrative where Southgate needs to take three right-backs and five centre-backs (Kyle Walker can play both, btw), and having a player who won't see a single minute in the competition is more valuable than taking a £100m winger who every European team would agree is among the best on the face of this planet.

Jadon Sancho

There's no denying Sancho has more to give for England | Pool/Getty Images

To play devil's advocate for a second, you can argue that Sancho hasn't actually been particularly good for England, and sure, you're probably right.

Three goals and five assists in 18 appearances for England is definitely underwhelming for a player of Sancho's quality, but can you genuinely think of one attacking player who hasn't massively underperformed for Southgate's England?

Harry Kane didn't bag a single goal in six Nations League games and needed a header against the mighty Albania to end a 16-month dry streak at international level. Are we dropping him too?

Jadon Sancho, Gareth Southgate
Dropping Sancho would be Southgate's biggest mistake | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Sancho is one of those special players who can genuinely change any game, regardless of opposition. He's one of the most exciting wide men around, and for an England team as starved of creativity as this, Sancho must be a core part of the team.

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If England are going to get anywhere this summer – if they want to actually beat a decent team in a knockout stage for once – Sancho simply has to be there. That shouldn't even be a debate.

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