Jadon Sancho and Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson are hoping that their success as footballers will inspire youngsters from their South London childhood neighbourhoods.
Both players were born into struggling families and they have fought their way out of poverty through football.
They bonded over the game while growing up and they have maintained their relationship even though they play in different countries now.
Sancho moved from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund for a chance at first-team action while Nelson has broken into the Arsenal first-team where he came through the ranks.
Both players have played for England’s youth teams and they recently talked about their life after starting from poverty with their families.
“When I made my debut, it was a big thing where I come from and it’s just giving hope to the youth,” Sancho said per the Standard.
“What me and Reiss are doing is hopefully making them see that there’s a way out and that with hard work that they can achieve anything.
“Once I’d done it, I wanted to accomplish more and more, to show people from south London not to have a small mindset and to believe in yourself.
“It’s about making your families proud and for me and Reiss, that was the biggest things growing up.
“Obviously seeing our mums struggling and working so hard every day to see us eat and make us smile.
“For me that’s the biggest thing, to see my family living a different life, seeing all my other brothers and sisters growing up and seeing a different view.
Nelson, also 20, added: “We played at youth level together, for the U19s, I think Jadon was playing a year up, but I’d played with him from young, so there was always a chemistry.
“It’s about giving inspiration to the young kids in south London, who might have that mindset that they can’t really do anything with themselves. 100 per cent, you can make it out of the area and achieve big things.”
While Sancho has already become one of the most sought-after players in the world, Nelson, who spent a season on loan in Germany is still yet to become a regular for Arsenal, but he has impressed Mikel Arteta and he could play an important role at The Emirates next season.