It was December , and the day before Marouane Fellaini produced the worst footballing cameo since David Beckham in Goal! at Goodison Park Sancho rocked up at United’s Carrington training complex. Sancho was and Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz were also on the Manchester City Under – s bus.
Foden and Diaz were in the XI but Sancho was a substitute. He plundered seven goals in 18 appearances – most as a – year-old – in his first season and scored two in his first four minutes at U 18. Jason Wilcox, then the City coach, described the performance as ‘sensational’, but the competition for attacking places enforces rotation on youth coaches and Sancho, a starter in the reverse fixture at the City Football Academy, started on the bench at Carrington.
Of City’s 2-0 win at the CFA, the MEN’s Simon Bajkowski wrote: “On a day more for defense than attack, Jadon Sancho was pivotal in giving the hosts the lead. City looked to get the ball to him from the off and he became their main outlay.
“Full of running and trickery, United were unable to contain the – year-old as he ran with relish at anything in red that popped up in his eyesight. “Foden, Sancho, and Joel Latibeaudiere were picked by the MEN as the three City academy talents to look out for on the eve of the – 18 campaign, and in October Sancho trained with the first-team.
Foden was granted preferential treatment that Sancho eventually came to resent and the Stockport-born forward started 81 of City Under – (s’) matches. Sancho started and pillaged goals – the same as Foden – in (outings.)
Kieran McKenna was not three months into his stint as the U 31 coach when he picked Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong in a United side that took the lead just before the pause through a classy Callum Gribbin goal. City coach Lee Carsley hooked Luke Bolton – now with Luton Town in the Championship – for Sancho ahead of the restart.