Benchwarmer Sané may have to return to Bundesliga to help career


LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Leroy Sane of Manchester City evades Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park on April 14, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Leroy Sane of Manchester City evades Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester City at Selhurst Park on April 14, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Leroy Sané has been out of the reckoning for Manchester City lately as Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva have regularly been in the starting XI and help the club close in on a second conseuctive Premier League title.

The reasons are simple and straightforward and browsing through the PFA Player of the Year shortlist looks like a good place to start. Because on the list you will find the names of both – Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva.

The two wingers have been recognised by fellow players as being among the best players this season.

And for sure – the goals and assists provided by Pep Guardiola’s first-choice men have been instrumental for the marvellous Premier League performance of City in 2019.

Moreover, neither of the two seem to have any ambition to leave the club soon. Both – Sterling and Silva – have committed to new, long-term deals.

No doubt about talent

BOLZANO, ITALY - MAY 23: Julian Draxler and Leroy Sane (L) arrives with the German National team at Bolzano Airport for the Southern Tyrol Training Camp ahead of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 on May 23, 2018 in Bolzano, Italy. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
No one has ever doubted the talent of the German international. He rebounded from not being chosen to represent Germany in the World Cup in Russia and became one of City’s form players down the late autumn and winter stretch 2018.

But his appearances in spring 2019 have been sporadic at best and – even worse for the winger – he appears to have genuinely lost the trust of Pep Guardiola for big games – when things really matter.

City was on the way of chasing a quadruple. The important games in all competitions had been coming fast. But against clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in the league, sané was a substitute on the bench.

The same was true for the FA Cup semi-final against Brighton and against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup Final in February. He merely played for 10 minutes when Man City were eliminated from the UCL by Tottenham. And while Silva was injured and could not play in the first leg Pep opted for record signing Riyad Mahrez, another player who might want to leave the club.

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Bayern Munich need to replace Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City controls the ball during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City controls the ball during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

With City chasing the goal in the second leg that would put them through, it was hard to understand why Sane was kept sidelined for such a long time. During his short spell on the pitch he did affect the game but his involvement was too brief to turn the wheel around.

City have been confident of convincing Sane to continue playing for the club. His current deal expires in 2021 but the player might well have legitimate concerns over how much playing time he’ll get under Guardiola. Sterling and Silva are about as old as him and the signing of another attacker, Joao Felix, may come soon. So, Sane may see his future in the German Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich need to replace Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery for next season and Leroy Sané may exactly fit the requirements. The derby against Manchester United is the most significant fixture left in the entire Premier League schedule.

The matter is quite simple: should City win the match they will probably be able to lift the trophy at the end of the season. If not, then Liverpool are favourites. Whether Leroy Sané will be trusted to be part of that job from the beginning of the match remains to be seen.

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