If you would have asked me a year ago if we'd ever seen Jadon Sancho in a Dortmund kit again, I likely would have thought the odds of that occuring to be close to zero. And yet, here we are in 2024, with Sancho donning the number 10 and once again playing a part on the pitch to great effect for the club.
Dortmund's date with SV Darmstadt resulted in a much needed win; a win that will hopefully inspire some confidence in the players and let them perform to the level we know most of them can. A big factor in this win was Dortmund's former starboy, who came on the pitch in the second half to assist Marco Reus for the club's second goal on the night.
Sancho looked rejuvinated during his stint on the pitch, looking for opportunities to get his teammates on the ball whenever he could but also taking a few shots himself, testing Marcel Schuhen's resolve on a few occasions. It was an impressive performance for a player who has played little to no minutes this season. According to Sancho after the match, he's just happy to be playing football again after such a long time away from the green:
"Since I've been back here, it feels like I've come home and I'm just happy to be back on the pitch"- Jadon Sancho
Feeling at home and settled is clearly important for players and their overall performances, and Sancho's story certainly underlines this. Being back amongst familiar faces has surely allowed Sancho to settle in quickly and focus in on upping his game and overal fitness. A big part of this "feeling at home" for Sancho has been the fact that he has been reunited with Marco Reus, who the winger admits is a good friend of his:
"It felt like it was meant to be, coming back and meeting Marco again. He's a good friend of mine and I'm just happy [that he was able to assist him for the goal]."- Jadon Sancho
This re-kindling connection with the Reus and company bodes well for Dortmund's chances at putting themselves in a Champions League position once again, which of course was one of the goals Sancho has set for himself while at Dortmund:
"My goal is to be happy again and help the team get back into the top three and qualify for the Champions League next year. I also have personal goals, but I don't want to talk about them just yet."- Jadon Sancho
The personal goals in question are a very interesting point to note here. They seem to allude to something the player is planning for the long term; plans that perhaps include a future at Borussia Dortmund. In addition to his statements here, there has been enough talk in recent days indicating that despite there not being an option to buy Sancho at the end of the loan, all parties are keeping their options open.
While it's purely speculation now, and there's no reason to get one's hopes up too much just yet, the start to life at Dortmund for Sancho this season has been quite promising. The transfer might really end up giving both the player and the club the boost they need to be at their very best and to play football with joy and vigor again.