Leroy Sané 20 Midfielder Manchester City Germany
Knowing that Leroy Sané’s father is a former Nurnburg footballer and his mother was an Olympic medal winning rhythmic gymnast explains the natural athletic ability and blistering pace that he possesses.
One of the few things to match his speed has been the rate of his meteoric rise from Schalke 04 starlet to one of the most expensive 20-year olds in the history of football. Sané’s first three league goals for Schalke all proved to be match winners, and he quickly established a reputation for himself as someone that can not only handle pressure but flourish under it. As such he became the “roll of the dice” option for Germany during the European Championships over the summer.
A right winger that wants to cut inside onto his stronger left foot, Sané is the sort of player that you really want to have in your squad as a potential difference maker in a tight game. An excellent dribbler, a fearless runner and a tall, strong boy – he is everything that defenders don’t want running at them at any time in a game, never mind when the clock is running down.
2016 has been…
…oddly disappointing; but that’s a problem of his own making. The moments of brilliance we’ve seen from Leroy so far in his short career have been excellent; and we’d be lying if we didn’t say we expected to see more of it. Especially off the back of him being the stand-out acquisition of Josep Guardiola’s first summer at Manchester City.
Of the signings made during the summer Ilkay Gundogan is more evidently for the here and now, but with Sané’s fee reported to be north of £45 million we were hoping for a little more impact in the Premier League.
Schalke have been bemoaned for letting a potential superstar leaving the Bundesliga too soon, and the player himself has been labelled a money grabber. We’re not sure money is the motivator for the youngster. The chance to play under Guardiola, emerging and developing as a player in the same way that Kingsley Coman and/or Joshua Kimmich managed to, will have been the real enticement.
Obviously that emergence hasn’t happened yet. It is partly because of a hamstring injury that ruled him out through August and ruined his start to the season. It is be partly because the current players in the first team are doing a pretty decent job. And it will be partly because there has been little to shout about in the few cameos Leroy has had so far in Manchester City blue.
He hasn’t forced Guardiola’s hand to find him a place in the team; not that he is in a real hurry to do so. City have navigated passage in the knock-out stages of the Champions League and with tournament progression on various fronts will come chances for fringe squad players.
If Leroy can take one of those chances and makes it stick, we’ll be able to move on and fondly remember his early struggles settling into England.
C- Poor by the high standards he initially set himself; but no reason to panic
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