Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney says it has been his job to keep Jadon Sancho’s feet on the ground, but could not help the youngster remember his passport on the journey to London.
Sancho, still only 18, has burst into the limelight for Dortmund this season, producing form that saw him called to the England squad before Christmas.
He has been getting plenty of attention for his performances, but made the headlines on Tuesday after forgetting his passport on the way to the Champions League last-16 tie against Tottenham.
The flight was only delayed by 17 minutes, though that was still far more time than it took for the former Manchester City player, who quit the Etihad Stadium in 2017 due to a lack of opportunities, to be brought up at Dortmund’s pre-match press conference at Wembley.
Delaney has been keeping Sancho in check and could not help having a sly dig at the English media.
“I was expecting this question, it was only a matter of time,” the Denmark international said.
“Jadon is a big, big talent, with talent comes opportunities and he has them for sure.
“But he is still 18 years old and he has done amazing. He is not where he is supposed to be, he is a rough diamond, he will get there.
“I feel responsible for keeping him on the ground. Now we are in England and you are world famous for hyping your player.
“We try to keep him on the ground because he has a big, big future in front of him and he will do great things, but it takes hard work.”
On Sancho’s passport faux pas, Delaney insisted it was not an issue.
“I didn’t notice, it is not a big city like London, it doesn’t take that much time to get your passport,” he added. “It might cost us a bit of money, but most of the guys didn’t notice.”
While Tottenham will be without Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Danny Rose, who might make the bench, Dortmund also have injury concerns for the Wembley clash.
Marco Reus has a muscle injury and misses out along with Manuel Akanji, Paco Alcacer, Julian Wiegl and Lukasz Piszczek.
Boss Lucien Favre, who is also suffering from flu, did not dwell on his absentees.
He said: “I can’t talk about missing players – there are a lot missing – but it will be very difficult even with a full squad.
“They are a couple of points behind Liverpool in the Premier League and it says a lot.
“There are a lot of players missing, the team is like a puzzle sometimes and pieces are missing, but we carry on.
“Tottenham also have two players who are missing in Kane and Alli and we have other players who aren’t here but we can talk about it – but they are not here and we have to carry on.”