Borussia Dortmund eyeing up Jonathan Ikone as Jadon Sancho replacement

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 23 May 2021 11:26 BST
  • 6 min read
Borussia Dortmund eyeing up Jonathan Ikone as Jadon Sancho replacement

Jadon Sancho seems destined to leave Borussia Dortmund at some point, and with the side struggling for large parts this season, it’s becoming more and more likely that he departs this summer.

If that eventuality does occur in a few short months, it goes without saying that it will be a huge blow for Dortmund.

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Despite a slow start to the season he’s still scored 16 goals and assisted 19 in all competitions for the club in 2020/21, and truly is a vital piece of Dortmund’s puzzle.

With current Borussia Monchengladbach head coach Marco Rose coming through the doors at Signal Iduna Park this summer, he will be desperate to keep hold of the club’s prized assets, but it seems they’ve already made plans for life without Sancho.

That is according to France Football, who claim that Lille’s Jonathan Ikone is top of their shopping list, should Sancho sign for Manchester United, his biggest suitors.

The 23-year-old has played a pivotal role in guiding Lille towards a probable Ligue 1 crown, and his form has caught the eye of both Dortmund scouts and new head coach Rose.

How good is Ikone, and how does he compare to Sancho?

Ikone has netted seven goals and assisted seven in all competitions for his club this season, as well as four goal contributions for France’s U-21 side, and whilst there is similarities in his game to Sancho’s, he’s certainly way off the Englishman’s level.

For example, both like to progress the play via a dribble, Ikone is completing 2.1 per 90, whereas Sancho is at 3.2, and shoot on a fairly regular basis; Ikone takes 1.9 shots per 90, whilst Sancho takes 2.3.

Now, Dortmund can’t attract a player similar to Sancho’s level, so someone like Ikone, a PSG academy graduate, is more their level. But, just like with Sancho, they’ll feel confident they can mould him into the player they want.

Currently, Sancho attempts 4.5 crosses and 29.5 final third passes per 90, while Ikone is at just 0.3 and 13.3 per 90 respectively; with 14 goal contributions in all competitions compared to Sancho’s 35, Dortmund will need to add a killer instinct to Ikone’s game.

Having not started any of Lille’s past three Ligue 1 matches, Ikone has found himself on the fringes recently, but if Dortmund are serious about signing the attacker, then a bid of around £21 million is believed to be enough.

Rose’s high-energy style of attacking football could perfectly suit the explosive and dynamic Ikone, and it’s for this reason that he is said to be ahead of the likes of Doneyll Malen, David Neres and Pedro Goncalves on Dortmund’s wish list.

With nearly £100m to spend if Sancho does leave, then Ikone could be the perfect option to compliment other, more expensive signings.