But England starlet Sancho has a warning for other youngsters eyeing moves abroad: “Everyone’s journey is different”.
Sancho’s Borussia Dortmund will face Hoffenheim on Saturday at the Westfalenstadion, with the 18-year-old set to return to the league leaders starting lineup after being rested in the midweek cup loss to Werder Bremen.
The teenage Whizkid has thrilled under Lucien Favre this season, displacing £58million Chelsea-bound American Christian Pulisic in the first-choice XI, scoring seven goals and assisting 12 more this term.
Nelson, 19, has similarly enhanced his reputation since joining Hoffenheim on loan from Arsenal last summer, scoring seven goals in 22 games.
Emile Smith Rowe recently completed a similar temporary switch, joining RB Leipzig, while West Ham’s Reece Oxford did likewise too, hading to Augsburg on loan
Callum Hudson-Odoi is desperate to swap Chelsea for Bayern Munich this summer, having seen the German champions have four transfer bids rejected by the Blues.
However, Sancho insists that opportunities aren’t just handed out in Germany – they have to be earned.
“I feel like young players are looking to go away now, because they are seeing my success, but it’s not easy.
“People think that because I am doing so well [they will], but everyone’s journey is different. Mine was just to come out here and to work on me.
“I couldn’t speak for other young players, but they are probably giving it a thought now. I felt at the time I needed something different.
“Borussia Dortmund were the club I chose, I thought this will be my new home and I’ll work very hard to prove myself.”
Nelson and Sancho have been close ever since playing at the Southwark London Youth Games at the age of 11, a tournament in which they not only wowed with their skills and fearlessness against academy products – but emerged victorious.
The pair are doing similar in Germany, while also adapting to a different culture and learning a new language; “He would say him, I would say me,” responds Sancho when asked who speaks the best German.
Nelson’s place in the Hoffenheim starting XI is less secure than his longtime friend, having started just one of his side’s league fixtures since November 3.
But Sancho hopes that the two can face off in front of 80,000 this weekend – a long way from the cages of their youth.
We used to play with each other in Southwark youth games, that is how we really got close, helping each other,” added Sancho.
“[Then you’d] grab a ball and play with friends in the [football] cages.
“It will be very nice to stand on the pitch with him on Saturday, I hope we get that opportunity.
“It will be a nice memory for our families, as well coming from the same area and hopefully being proud of us.”