Last season Manchester City swept all before them in the Premier League, breaking record after record under Pep Guardiola. One of the stars of the Citizens team was German attacking midfielder, Leroy Sane.
The former Schalke star was in his second season with the Citizens after joining the men from Manchester for big money the previous season. However, season 2017/18 was what many would call a breakout campaign.
The winger scored ten goals and produced 15 assists in the Premier League, winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award in the process. Surely, this season he would continue where he left off. The answer is, unfortunately, he has not.
Left out of the Germany World Cup squad
It seems the 22-year-olds problems started when he was omitted from Germany’s World Cup squad. The decision seemed like a strange one from Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Low.
Sane had gone into the summer coming off the back of his best ever campaign as a professional footballer. He should have headed to Russia full of confidence and firing on all cylinders.
However, instead, he was omitted from the squad. Admittedly, he had decent competition for a place in the 23-man squad. The fact that the then-reigning world champions flopped like a jellyfish on a wet mattress makes that decision seem like a stranger one.
Failed to start City’s opening games
Then we could to the start of the Premier League campaign. Again, Sane had enjoyed a break during the summer due to his absence from the Germany World Cup squad, so he should have hit the ground running for the Citizens.
The fact that the majority of City’s midfielders had gone to the World Cup with their respective nations should have seen Sane started City’s early top-flight games. However, Sane has failed to start any of the Citizens top-flight games this season.
There were reports that boss Guardiola was not happy about the way that Sane was training and his fitness levels. However, a few days ago the Catalan boss claims that the coaching staff are now seeing the player who impressed for City last season.
Guardiola went out of his way to state that his omission from starting line-ups was not down to his performances more due to the other options at his disposal. The former-Barcelona boss also cited the return of French international Benjamin Mendy to the left-flank as one of the primary reasons for Sane’s lack of action.
The 22-year-old has produced lively displays off the substitute bench in the last two games against Huddersfield and Wolves.
Sane will improve as the season goes on
On last season’s showing, Leroy Sane will improve as the season goes on. City do have a plethora of options in the positions that the Germany international plays in. However, Sane is an undoubtedly talented player who has the potential to become a star.
For all the talent at City, the winger should still play a key role for the men from Manchester. Guardiola’s side will once again be expected to compete for every trophy, including the Premier League title and the Champions League, which City are odds of 5/1 to win this season.
Maybe his omission from the Germany squad has knocked Sane’s confidence and that is why he has not started in the Premier League yet this season. Maybe it is just a case of Guardiola preferring other players.
Hopefully, in the next few games, Sane will start and thrive for the Citizens. Players like Sane are a joy to watch and why City were such an entertaining team to watch last season.
Will Leroy Sane return to the Citizens starting line-up in the near future?
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