Gareth Southgate vowed to help Jadon Sancho through a difficult period in his Borussia Dortmund career following a lengthy discussion with the young winger.
Sancho was dropped from Dortmund’s squad for a Bundesliga fixture last month and suffered the indignity of being withdrawn before half-time of the club’s 4-0 Der Klassiker defeat to Bayern Munich.
Fresh transfer rumours are now linking the England international with a move away from Signal Iduna Park amid suggestions he has become unsettled.
“Any young player is going to have ups and downs,” Three Lions boss Southgate said.
“Jadon has played a lot of football. A couple of games lately he’s gone into physically fatigued. His club have taken the decision to keep playing him because he is a highly important player.
“It was a bit of a mixed bag recently. He was very good against Inter, he had a difficult game against Bayern, but the whole team did.
“I know what has gone on. He came to me at the beginning of the week and we had 25 minutes chatting about everything.
“We have a duty of care, almost, to him, to help him to progress and to develop as much as we can.”
— England (@England) September 11, 2019
Sancho is in his third season in Germany after leaving Manchester City in 2017.
“It’s an enormous challenge that Jadon has taken on, to go to another country,” Southgate added. “There’s the football of course, but he’s also adapting to life and the language.
“He’s done incredibly well, and it’s inevitable that there are going to be games where he’s maybe not as effective.
“But he still has a high level of assists, a high level of goals. He’s a great talent and part of our job is to help him to succeed.”
With Raheem Sterling not considered for selection, Sancho could start Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is another option.
The 19-year-old has impressed since returning from an Achilles injury, having spurned interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern in favour of signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge.
“I wasn’t saying I was definitely going to sign or I wasn’t going to sign,” Hudson-Odoi told reporters. “It was just because of times last year where I felt a bit of frustration or times when I wanted to play more because I love the game.
“I made the right decision to stay at Chelsea.”