Anyone perusing the Bundesliga headlines over the past few weeks couldn’t have failed to spot the copious amount of space given over to the exploits of Borussia Dortmund’s former Manchester City winger Jadon Sancho. The 18-year-old however isn’t the only ex-City youngster tearing it up in the German top flight right now. Over at Hertha Berlin, newcomer Javairo Dilrosun is staking a genuine claim to be rated the league’s find of the season so far.
Sancho currently leads the way with six assists for the Schwarzgelben over the opening seven weeks, but it is his former Manchester youth team mate, who is his closest competitor. 20-year-old Dilrosun arrived at the Olympiastadion in the summer looking for more first-team action than he was getting in the star-studded ensemble under Pep Guardiola, and he has certainly grabbed his opportunities at Hertha with both hands.
The Dutch U-21 international, who is a product of the famed Ajax youth academy, has already scored twice for the capital club and laid on a further three assists as Pal Dardai’s side have made a fantastic start to the new season. He certainly hasn’t looked like a player, who’d never appeared in the first-team before and has taken to the Bundesliga like a duck to water.
“For us he’s an exceptional player” enthused Berlin trainer Pal Dardai. “He possesses a top level in one-on-ones, and with his dynamism it’s almost impossible to get the ball off of him.”
Dilrosun joined Manchester City in 2014 after spending his formative years in Ajax’s youth network, and with his Suriname heritage, he must have dreamt about following in the footsteps of Dutch legends Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard. In England however, he was unable to break into the first team squad with the Citizens and with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané clearly ahead of him in the pecking order, he followed the path blazed by Sancho to try his luck in the Bundesliga.
He was not in the matchday squad for Hertha’s DFB Pokal first round win over Magdeburg or their league opening day draw against Nürnberg. Matchday 2 saw a trip to Schalke and when defender Karim Rekik was forced off with an injury after just six minutes, it was Dilrosun who got the nod from Dardai to replace him. Less than ten minutes later, he had burned Weston McKennie for pace down the left latching onto a forward pass before sending over the cross that was fired in by Ondrej Duda for Hertha’s opener.
The following match at home to VfL Wolfsburg saw his first goal. Latching onto a mis-placed pass from William, he set off on a direct, powerful run which ended with a drilled shot across Koen Casteels and into the bottom-right corner. Two assists and a man-of-the-match performance against Borussia Mönchengladbach and then another goal in the defeat to Werder capped a more than respectable start with die Alte Dame.
Jadon Sancho is proving at Borussia Dortmund that he is very much ‘one that got away’ from the Premier League champions and if Dilrosun continues in his current vein of form, he will go down as another. The current international break saw the winger drafted into the Dutch U-21 squad for the first time by trainer Erwin van de Looi for the internationals against Latvia and Ukraine.
With the full side beating Germany in their Nations Cup clash, the 20-year-old will return to the Bundesliga this weekend full of bravado and looks set to keep delivering on the pitch as Hertha seek to maintain their great start.
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