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'Sancho and Guehi signings highlight Academy quality'

29 Jul 2021
Jadon Sancho competes against Marc Guehi, Chelsea U18s v Man City U18s, 2017

Premier League Head of Youth Neil Saunders on Man Utd and Palace recruits' differing pathways to the competition

Four years after facing each other in youth football and winning the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup together, Jadon Sancho and Marc Guehi are set to meet again in the 2021/22 Premier League after experiencing different journeys to England's top flight.

Sancho has joined Manchester United, while Guehi has signed for Crystal Palace, and the pair could go head-to-head on 4 December when Man Utd host the Eagles at Old Trafford.

The Premier League's Head of Youth Neil Saunders: "It’s great to see such an exciting pair of young homegrown players in the Premier League. Their respective transfers further highlight the quality of players being developed through club Academies."

Familiar faces

Sancho faced Guehi for Manchester City against Chelsea in the 2016/17 FA Youth Cup final, while the pair were team-mates as part of England Under-17s' triumph in India that same season. 

Guehi stayed at Chelsea's Academy, opting to go out on loan and play in the Championship, while Sancho left Man City for Borussia Dortmund.

"The journeys both players have taken to the Premier League show there is no one pathway that all players follow, with Marc progressing through Chelsea’s Academy in the same age group as Mason Mount and Reece James before making his mark in the EFL with Swansea," says Saunders.

“Jadon progressed through Watford and Man City’s Academies and has gone on to be a huge star for Dortmund in the Bundesliga, as well as making his mark on the international stage and contributing to the outstanding performance by England at UEFA Euro 2020.

"They are the latest from that crop of exciting talents to make it to the Premier League, with Phil Foden, Emile Smith Rowe and Callum Hudson-Odoi just three of that squad who the pair will compete against in the 2021/22 top flight.”

A total of seven players from England's triumphant Under-17 squad have featured in the Premier League and racked up more than 250 top-flight appearances between them, with Angel Gomes, Morgan Gibbs-White, Rhian Brewster and Conor Gallagher completing the list.

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