The Borussia Dortmund youngster has been urged to use the Portuguese superstar as an example of how to use natural ability in the right moments
Jadon Sancho has been told to use Cristiano Ronaldo as an example of when to showboat and when to keep things simple, with the England international still learning how best to use his box of tricks.
At 19 years of age, the Borussia Dortmund winger has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence.
In a little over 18 months, following his departure from Manchester City, the teenage talent has become a Bundesliga regular and senior star with his country.
Big things are expected of a player with plenty of potential still to be unlocked, with Sancho having topped the Goal NxGn list of the most promising youngsters on the planet.
There is every indication that he will cement a standing among the global elite, but there are still issues within his game to iron out.
Sancho has been told to look to five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo for inspiration, with the Juventus superstar having come a long way from the show pony he was in his early days at Manchester United.
Former England defender Martin Keown told the Daily Mail: “What players like Sancho have to learn is when to execute their moments of artistry.
“We used to see how Cristiano Ronaldo might showboat. Now those tricks are used to put his opponents on their backsides. He doesn’t overindulge. That’s the balance that Sancho must find.
“On Friday [in a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic], he understood [Gareth] Southgate’s system well. There was talk of how outstanding he’d been in training and he’s taking the England manager’s instructions on board in games, too.
“[Raheem] Sterling’s opener involved a lovely crisp cross from Sancho. There were opportunities later when he could have gone at his opponent and didn’t. I wonder if that was down to tiredness.
“As he grows and gets stronger that will improve.”
Jamie Redknapp has also saluted Sancho’s rapid development, with it possible that a first international start against the Czechs could be followed by another in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro on Monday – although he is nursing a knock.
The ex-England midfielder said: “His double nutmeg was outrageous. I made my international debut in September 1995 in a 0-0 draw with Colombia at Wembley and I was involved in a spot of showboating too, albeit by accident.
“I chipped the ball towards the goal and Colombia goalkeeper Rene Higuita saved it with a scorpion kick, so I don’t think anything will beat that.
“Sancho is an example of what kids are being taught in academies up and down the country.
“Kids these days are coached to be able to play with both feet and express themselves. We’ve seen in the past how Spain were capable of producing starlet after starlet. Germany had their time, too. Hopefully, it’s England’s turn.”
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