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‘I’m happiest when I’m playing’, says Sancho after Dortmund return

English winger Jadon Sancho said he was “welcomed like family” after returning to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester United.

Sancho joined Dortmund on loan until the end of the season in January and has since laid on two assists in three games. 

He previously spent four seasons with the Bundesliga club before leaving in a big-money move to Old Trafford in 2021.

The 23-year-old was frozen out by United coach Erik Ten Hag in August for disciplinary reasons and had not played or trained with their first team since.

“I’m just happy to be back playing football,” Sancho told the Bundesliga website.

“When I’m playing football, I’m at my happiest. I’m just grateful to be back.”

After a poor start to the season left Dortmund in fifth place heading into the winter break, three straight wins after Sancho’s return propelled Edin Terzic’s side into the Bundesliga top four.

Manchester City academy product Sancho scored 50 goals and provided 64 assists in 137 appearances during his first spell at Dortmund.

The winger paid tribute to his street football beginnings, saying “that’s where my skills came from”.

“Cage football and academy football is different. Cage football is freedom,” he said.

“You can express yourself, whereas at an academy it’s like a system — you have to do it by the rules.”

The Englishman picked up a muscle injury and missed last week’s 0-0 draw at Heidenheim, but could return to the squad for Friday’s meeting with Freiburg.

Dortmund coach Terzic said Thursday he hoped Sancho would be available.

“Jadon was still in individual training this week, but the plan is for him to train with the complete team this afternoon and tomorrow, and then we’ll make a decision whether he’ll be ready for tomorrow evening.”

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