Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho headlines players to watch during international break

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Jadon Sancho has shone in the Bundesliga this season.

The latest international break will provide a stage for some of the most in-form players in Europe, as well as a few bright young talents still making their names on the club stage.

Former Manchester City academy product Jadon Sancho is the headline figure among the players set to thrill crowds while on international duty.

Here are five players to watch over the coming week:

Jadon Sancho

Sancho has been a revelation for Borussia Dortmund this season, and his likely first start for England during their friendly against the United States has been well-earned.

The 18-year-old has started the season with five goals and eight assists in 17 appearances across competitions, with his form a big reason why Dortmund are the Bundesliga leaders.

England have a host of exciting young attacking players, some coming through the ranks and others already entrenched. But at the moment no one has set pulses racing more than Sancho, who left City last summer in search of regular first-team football. Expect him to light up Wembley on Thursday.

Sancho made his England debut in the previous international break.

Sancho made his England debut in the previous international break.

Alassane Plea

Alassane Plea may only be in the France squad thanks to injuries to Anthony Martial and Alexandre Lacazette, but the Borussia Monchengladbach star has earned his call-up.

Plea has scored eight goals in 11 games in the Bundesliga this season, including a hat-trick against Werder Bremen in his most recent outing.

Though they won the World Cup, the lead striker role has been somewhat of a problem position for France. Olivier Giroud is an integral member of the starting XI, but he went the entire World Cup campaign without scoring, and has only scored three times in his last 16 France appearances.

With France all but certain to top their group, will Didier Deschamps start looking at alternatives to the Chelsea man? If so, Plea could be the one to benefit.

Alassane Plea has been in hot form.

Alassane Plea has been in hot form.

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay has a claim to being the Netherlands’ best player currently, at the very least among the Oranje’s attackers. He’s scored or assisted 29 club goals in 2018 -only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi can top that – as he’s spearheaded Lyon’s resurgence.

Yet that form and its influence on his club’s fortunes have come with renewed questions about his attitude. Depay’s struggles during a two-and-a-half-year spell at Manchester United were well-documented, and though he seems to have moved past that, run-ins with Lyon management show he’s still got a ways to go.

For now, he can let his talent do the talking, with games against France and Germany coming up. If he continues to perform, a move back to one of Europe’s elite clubs could come that much sooner.

Depay has already started angling for a move away from Lyon.

Depay has already started angling for a move away from Lyon.

Timothy Weah

The USA have turned to youth in the wake of their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, with Timothy Weah being one of the more high-profile beneficiaries.

Son of former AC Milan, Monaco, and Paris Saint-Germain star George Weah, the first African player to win the Ballon d’Or, the 18-year-old comes with a big reputation. So far he’s made more appearances for his national team, seven, than he has for PSG, six.

The USA have a tough run of friendlies during this break, facing both England and Italy. But the better the opposition, the bigger the stage for a player of Weah’s hype.

Weah made his PSG debut last season.

Weah made his PSG debut last season.

Leroy Sane

Leroy Sane has endured a mixed few months.

After his shock exclusion from Germany’s World Cup squad, his recall following the side’s stunning group-stage exit at the tournament came with talk that the young star needed to improve his attitude. Questions over his mentality have arisen at club level, too.

With Marco Reus set to miss Germany’s friendly against Russia, and possibly even their UEFA Nations League fixture against the Netherlands, Sane is likely to be thrust into the starting XI. Joachim Low could do with one of his young stars providing a spark for a side that has won only once in four games since its World Cup humiliation. Can Sane deliver?

Leroy Sane's meteoric rise has slowed down recently.

Leroy Sane’s meteoric rise has slowed down recently.

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Man City utility man Fabian Delph set to captain England against United States

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Gareth Southgate revealed that Fabian Delph will captain England in the friendly against the United States at Wembley on Thursday.

A lot of the attention in the build-up has been around the decision to award Wayne Rooney the chance to wave farewell to the international scene, and while England’s record-goalscorer will take the armband at some point on the night, it will be Delph who leads his country for the first time.

“Fabian is captain tomorrow night, and the players are keen that Wayne wears the number 10 and we believe that is a fitting tribute,” said Southgate.

“Fabian is captaining his country for the first time and it is brilliant reward for him. He is an outstanding player and outstanding person.

“He is a huge leader within our group and I have really enjoyed working with him. You don’t give the England captaincy to someone unless you really think they can carry it and he has those outstanding attributes.

“He was one of the big reasons we were successful (in the summer).”

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Best and worst of Wayne Rooney journey with England

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Wayne Rooney will return to action with England on Thursday night in a surprise international comeback.

With 53 goals and 119 caps to his name, Rooney has netted more times for the Three Lions than anyone else and boasts the highest number of caps for an outfield player.

In an international career now spanning 15 years there are always going to be ups and downs.

Here, ahead of his one-off return in Thursday’s friendly against the United States, Press Association Sport looks at the personal highs and lows of Rooney’s England story.

HIGH –

Becomes the youngest player to play for England in February 2003 at 17 years and 111 days in a friendly defeat against Australia.

HIGH –

Sets the record for the youngest scorer in finals history with two goals in the 3-0 win over Switzerland at Euro 2004 in Portugal, only to see the record broken four days later. Goes on to score twice in England’s final group match, a 4-2 win over Croatia.

LOW –

Suffers a foot injury as England lose their Euro 2004 quarter-final to hosts Portugal in a penalty shoot-out.

LOW –

Is shown a red card in the World Cup 2006 quarter-final defeat to Portugal for stamping on Ricardo Carvalho, also becoming involved in an altercation with Manchester United team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo following the incident. To add insult to injury England lose on penalties and Rooney is fined by FIFA.

LOW –

Sent off in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro for a foul on Miodrag Dzudovic and banned for the first three games of the finals in Poland and Ukraine, subsequently reduced to two on appeal.

HIGH –

Wins his 100th England cap in November 2014 and scores a penalty as England defeat Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier.

HIGH –

In September 2015, breaks Sir Bobby Charlton’s England scoring record with his 50th goal in a Euro 2016 qualifying match against Switzerland.

HIGH –

Earns his 116th cap in September 2016 to make him England’s most-capped outfield player.

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