Jadon Sancho: Raheem Sterling is an inspiration to England’s young players

Jadon Sancho has revealed Raheem Sterling has taken he and Callum Hudson-Odoi under his wing for England, and says the Manchester City forward is an inspiration for the national team’s many young players.

The Borussia Dortmund teenager made his full debut for England on Friday night in the 5-0 win over Czech Republic, and set up Sterling’s first goal of the game. The two know each other from their time at City, but Sancho has been struck by how the 24-year-old has grown as a leader.

“He is just a great player,” Sancho said of Sterling. “He showed all the youngsters what it’s about. And I’m sure that he’s going to go far in his career and I’m just happy that I’m sharing a pitch with him.

“He’s all right, he’s cool. Obviously he speaks to me and Callum about what to do and what not to do and just gives us advice. He’s cool.

“It’s very good and especially because he is from London as well, he knows where I’m coming from. He’s been helping me a lot. But it’s not just him, it’s everyone else making me and Callum comfortable and making us feel welcome.”

Sancho linked up well with Sterling for the first goal of the game, sending in the cross from which the City forward scored the opening strike of his hat-trick.

“It was an easy goal and anyone would have wanted an easy goal… that’s what happens, if you show it on the pitch. And his numbers are crazy this year, so I’m happy for him.”

Sancho was surprised to get a first cap so quickly, but was mildly disappointed with his own display – despite rave reviews.

“It could have gone better. Obviously my one-v-ones weren’t as sharp today but I’m just happy that I’m on the pitch and starting in my first competitive game and happy to assist the first goal. I’ve just got a lot of improvements to do off the pitch and I’m sure the next game, Montenegro, if I get my chance I’ll do better.

Sterling scored a hat-trick as England brushed aside Czech Republic (Getty)

“I didn’t think it was going to come this quickly. But it just shows again if you get your chance and you do well, anything is possible. I’m just happy I got chosen to be a part of this team and I’m really grateful.”

Sancho feels that is the greater lesson from England’s supreme display – to just give youth a chance. He revelled linking up with his old underage teammate Hudson-Odoi.

“It’s an amazing feeling playing with Callum, I’ve always played with him through the youth [levels] so it’s nice to have a close friend with me on the pitch and he will be proud of obviously making his debut at Wembley. I’m sure his family will be proud and I’m just happy for him that everyone is doing well.

“It just shows that if you give youngsters a chance they have got something to prove and Callum is doing that at Chelsea. That’s why he is in the squad today, because the coach believes in him, he’s very good at one-v-ones and that’s what we need him for.”

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