Jadon Sancho is a "street dog" who was always motivated to get to the very top, according to a former Borussia Dortmund youth coach who helped the England international on his way to stardom.
Benjamin Hoffmann, now a coach with Mainz Under-19s, worked in the academy at Dortmund while Sancho was progressing through the system.
Sancho, now aged 20, is one of the most feared attackers in European football, starring for club and country, as well as being tracked for a potential big-money transfer by several top clubs, including Manchester United.
Hoffman says Sancho had to be given the freedom to play because of his immense talents, and recalled one game against Real Madrid's youth team as a prime example of how the winger was incredibly determined to reach the very top.
Speaking exclusively to Goal and SPOX, Hoffman said: "Jadon is a real street dog who always wants to be the best. I had to give him his freedom because otherwise I couldn't have motivated him for the U19s.
"His best game was in the UEFA Youth League against Real Madrid. There he played with Jacob Bruun Larsen and Alex Isak to make up the offensive three. He knew that everyone was watching, the game was being broadcast on TV, and he could prove that he really shouldn't be here. We won 5-3."
Hoffman was a central figure in Dortmund's very productive academy during his time at the club, and named Sancho as one of the very best talents he has worked with, as well as another current Dortmund star in Gio Reyna.
He also worked alongside former Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp, who has just guided Liverpool to their first English league title in 30 years having won the Champions League last season, and was full of praise for the German.
Hoffman said: "Jurgen Klopp was simply sensational. It's amazing how approachable he is. He builds an individual connection to each player. To see how he deals with the players and how authentic he stays with them."
Of the current Dortmund youth crop, Youssoufa Moukoko is the most highly-regarded young player, with the 15-year-old forward all set to step up to the senior squad next season. Hoffman is backing the youngster to live up to the hype and believes he has the maturity to succeed.
He said: "I think he [Moukoko] can keep up physically and football-wise there. Other than his footballing qualities, he has developed personally under [Dortmund U-17 manager] Sebastian Geppert over the past two years and has matured significantly."