Christian Pulisic

Manchester United livewire Jadon Sancho has named Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic as an inspiration on the journey that led to him moving to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund in a huge £73million move last summer.

Pulisic became Dortmund’s second-most expensive outgoing player when he joined Chelsea for £58million in 2019, leaving a Bundesliga squad that included Sancho.

The pair had combined to formidable creative effect during their time together in Germany, and Sancho sensed he could emulate Pulisic’s path at Stamford Bridge when he was offered the chance to join United.

Sancho was in Manchester City’s youth ranks when he moved to Dortmund for £8million as a 17-year-old in 2017.

The success of then-USA youth international Pulisic in the German side’s ranks gave Sancho belief that he could make his name with Dortmund, where he set up 20 goals and scored 16 last season.

Speaking about his surprise departure from City, Sancho told Sky Sport Germany: ‘[Dortmund] tried very hard for me.

‘Then I saw who else was playing in Dortmund. For example, Christian Pulisic, who was only 19 at the time – he was almost a role model for me.

‘I saw him and thought to myself – that could be me too. Luckily, Dortmund gave me this chance and I think I did the job.’

Pulisic was immediately loaned back to Dortmund for a season and has gone on to become a regular for Chelsea during his three full campaigns with the club.

The Bundesliga is known for giving emerging players opportunities to show suitors across Europe why they are worth vast transfer fees, with England prodigy Jude Bellingham’s move from Birmingham to Dortmund one of the most high-profile recent examples of the career path Sancho pursued.

Sancho’s switch made Pulisic Dortmund’s third-most lucrative export in their history. Ousmane Dembele’s £96million move to Barcelona in 2017 remains the record for the club.

Sancho said: ‘I wouldn’t say that I started a trend, like many say. But perhaps other young players from England have since then had more confidence in choosing the club where they want to play.’

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