Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard were both in awe of ‘special’ talent Jadon Sancho after the soon-to-be Manchester United new boy starred for England in their Euro 2020 quarter-final rout of Ukraine.
The 21-year-old was handed his first start of the tournament in Rome and was a lively presence throughout, despite not getting on the scoresheet. A Harry Kane brace, Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson’s first international goal did the trick as the Three Lions’ secured a semi-final with Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Sancho agreed a £73million move to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund on Thursday. And it’s fair to say that his display capped a superb week for the attacker.
Speaking on the BBC after the game, Ferdinand said: “I’ll tell you one thing, next season at Manchester United he’ll have people off their seats.
“There were moments in this game where he draws your breathe and you think, ‘Ooh, wow, that’s different!’.
“He’s a fabulous talent, we know that, but mentally he’s very strong. He’s got a desire to be as good as he could be and wants to fulfil that potential.
“Players that can up the tempo of a game are different and they mean something different to your team. They can change a game the way he did tonight.
“One-twos, playing with composure, playing off both feet, end product.
“This is his first game by the way in the tournament and he comes in and plays the way he did today and creates moments. It shows you the talent that’s there.”
Lampard claims Sancho talent ‘not the norm’
Lampard was in total agreement, adding: “I think there’s a natural balance and acceleration in him, and movement. This is not the norm.
“And fortunately for England now in our squad we have a few players like this. We have incredible talents in attacking areas.
“But he completely vindicates Gareth’s decision to play him today, because of what he brought. He wanted a bit of something more direct, he wanted a right footer, he wanted someone off the side.
“As Rio says, the maturity for a young kid to come in and show it in a game of this level says a lot about his mentality as well. We’ve got a special player coming to the Premier League.”