Tottenham Hotspur take on Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night.
Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has told Football.London that he is not surprised by Jadon Sancho's success with Borussia Dortmund – and stayed coy on whether he tried to sign him.
Tottenham take on Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 of the Champions League, with the first leg taking place at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Having just squeezed through the group stage, Spurs will want to make it worthwhile with a strong showing in the knockout phases, but they will need to keep winger Sancho quiet.
The English wide man, 18, swapped Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017, with many praising his bold decision to go an learn his craft in Germany having found his path to first-team football blocked at City.
So far, the move has been a masterstroke. This season, Sancho has been sensational, hitting seven goals and nine assists in just 21 Bundesliga games, and he could be the key man for Dortmund with Marco Reus out.
Intriguingly, reports from The Mirror in 2017 suggested that Spurs wanted to take Sancho in a swap deal when Manchester City signed Kyle Walker, but City refused before selling him to Dortmund.
Now, Spurs boss Pochettino has admitted that he has known about Sancho's quality for some time and isn't surprised by his success in Germany, but remained coy on whether he did try to sign Sancho for Spurs or not.
“I am not too much impressed [surprised] about him,” said Pochettino. “We knew very well that he was capable to do what he is doing now with game time. We have seen the quality that he was showing in Manchester City or in his national team. I think we were talking in the last few years that he was a massive prospect to be a very good player. Of course he is showing now in Germany that he can cope with the pressure to play in the Bundesliga or in the Champions League. And no surprise me. His talent is there and he's a very talented player.”
“Ah, you know I don't talk about that. Rumours,” he added when asked about a possible failed move in 2017.