Raheem Sterling (r.) is not surprised to see Jadon Sancho (l.) thriving for Borussia Dortmund and England. - © 2018 Getty Images
Raheem Sterling (r.) is not surprised to see Jadon Sancho (l.) thriving for Borussia Dortmund and England. - © 2018 Getty Images

"I want to be like Jadon Sancho!" - Raheem Sterling lauds Borussia Dortmund's English wizard

Raheem Sterling has praised England teammate Jadon Sancho, and says he always knew the Borussia Dortmund teenager would reach the very top of the game from their days together at Manchester City.

Sterling trained alongside Sancho at City, before the youngster took the bold decision to leave the English Premier League champions and move out of his comfort zone to join Dortmund in summer 2017.

The 18-year-old winger is now a regular fixture at club and international level, which has come as no surprise to Sterling.

Watch: The story of Jadon Sancho

"First day I’d seen him training with us, I was really happy to see such a talent," Sterling told Sport360 of Sancho.

"I always knew he’d become the player he has, for sure. From minute one. I was playing right-back against him one day in pre-season training and he spun me back and I nearly did my back in. He’s a great talent."

Sterling also believes Sancho made the right choice in leaving Manchester for Dortmund in his search for a career breakthrough and regular first-team football.

Jadon Sancho has made 38 Bundesliga appearances since joining Dortmund from Man City as a 17-year-old. - 2019 DFL

"When he first mentioned to me he was thinking about going abroad, even though he was a City player, I was happy to hear that from him. I knew he had a massive chance to go on to do big things.

"I’m just really happy to see him doing so well. He’s doing massive things and I hope he stays level headed and keeps working and keeps learning."

Sancho became the first player born this millennium to play for England when he came off the bench to replace Sterling and make his senior international debut in the UEFA Nations League encounter in Croatia last October.

Jadon Sancho is now a regular member of Gareth Southgate’s England squad. - imago/PRiME Media Images

The call-up was just reward for some sensational performances for Dortmund - eye-catching displays which have only continued, consolidating his place in Gareth Southgate's squad for England's upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro.

Sancho chimed in with two assists in Dortmund’s thrilling 3-2 win away to Hertha Berlin last weekend, and now has more assists (12) than anyone else in the Bundesliga this season - a number matched only by Barcelona's Lionel Messi across Europe’s top five leagues. The Londoner has also scored eight goals in his 26 Bundesliga appearances so far this term.

"I want to be like him!" said Sterling.