Axel Witsel says even the Bayern Munich defenders were scared of “technically strong” and “complete” winger Jadon Sancho as he fired Borussia Dortmund to DFL-Supercup victory on Saturday.
The 19-year-old notched a goal and an assist as his side beat the Bundesliga champions 2-0 to lift the first piece of silverware of the season.
Sancho scored an impressive 13 goals and set up a further 15 in 43 appearances for Dortmund last season and the England international is expected to shine in the Bundesliga again this year.
Team-mate Witsel is convinced Sancho will play a key role again after striking fear into the team they hope to beat to the Bundesliga title in 2019-20.
“Jadon is damned talented,” Witsel told reporters.
“Even Bayern’s defenders are scared when he has the ball. But that’s normal because Jadon just has a lot of quality. He is fast, technically strong and he can score goals as well as put his team-mates in the spotlight. He is really a complete player.”
Dortmund were leading the Bundesliga for most of last season before Bayern jumped ahead of them in March and finished two points clear.
Coach Lucien Favre has brought defender Mats Hummels back to the club from Bayern this summer, while Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt have all been signed and Paco Alcacer’s loan from Barcelona was made permanent.
While the club have been working hard in the transfer market, Witsel says things are coming together in training and is confident the extra competition in the squad will help them.
“We work very hard on defending in training because last season we just conceded too many goals,” he added. “Especially with set piece situations we had problems. I think we’ve already improved because we work on it every day.
“The coach is doing a very good job. We have done well against Bayern. We will do everything to make sure that the title ends up with us in the end.
“It is a relatively large group, but also with a lot of quality. That’s why everyone has to go full throttle in training. It’s true that we could set up two good teams and I think we missed that last season.
“The competition is good for us all. Everyone has to be careful not to let up, but we can stay fresher that way.
“Sometimes, I don’t want to say in easy games, but if you lead maybe 3-0, it is possible to change things earlier and give some players a rest.”