Mauricio Pochettino has said he is not surprised by Jadon Sancho’s impressive performances for Borussia Dortmund this season.
Tottenham face Dortmund in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg at Wembley on Wednesday, and Sancho is expected to start for the visitors.
The 18-year-old was linked with Spurs before he left Manchester City for the Bundesliga 18 months ago.
In his press conference ahead of Wednesday’s game, the Tottenham boss appeared to hint the Londoners had watched Sancho closely before he joined Dortmund.
Pochettino said Sancho has not overly impressed him because he expected the England international to be a success in Germany.
“I’m not too much impressed about him,” Pochettino said (via ESPN). “We knew very well that he was capable of doing what he’s doing now, with game time. We’ve seen the quality that he was showing in Manchester City or in his national team.
“We were talking in the last few years that he was a massive prospect to be a very good player. Of course he’s showing now in Germany that he can cope with the pressure to play in the Bundesliga or in the Champions League, and it doesn’t surprise me. His talent is there and he’s a very talented player.”
Dortmund will be without their captain Marco Reus and striker Paco Alcacer for the first leg, meaning Sancho and Mario Gotze will be expected to pose most of the threat for the Bundesliga leaders.
Meanwhile, Harry Kane and Dele Alli are still sidelined for Spurs and Danny Rose is unavailable to start because of a gashed leg, meaning Jan Vertonghen will play at left-back.
It will be interesting to see if Pochettino has a plan to deal with Sancho on the night.