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What’s really going on with Leroy Sane at Man City?

Pep Guardiola dropped the German winger from his last matchday squad

Man City fans don’t have much to worry about these days.

But Leroy Sane’s current situation is certainly worth monitoring.

Having barely been given a kick in City’s first three games of the season, the German winger was been omitted from the matchday squad for Newcastle’s visit to the Etihad in the champions last game before the international break.

In the doghouse…

Getty - Contributor
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In the doghouse…

Goal are reporting that Pep Guardiola is unhappy with the 22-year-old’s attitude.

Presumably, the Catalan coach gave Sane the day off in hope it will act as dramatic motivation.

Such action is not to be taken lightly, he’s basically been made an example of in front of the world.

It’s a curious reversal of fortunes for Sane.

He was named Young Player of the Year last season after an inspiring campaign that featured ten goals and 15 assists in the league.

Happier times

REUTERS
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Happier times

However, Joachim Low unexpectedly excluded him from Germany’s World Cup squad, sparking rumours of a rift between the two.

Even with Germany’s extensive attacking options, it was hard to believe such an in-form talent had been left at home for purely footballing reasons.

Many tipped Sane for an explosive start to the new Premier League season, citing Low’s decision as a possible source of motivation and the benefits of a proper rest.

In reality, it’s been quite the opposite.

Sane has been selected in Germany’s latest squad

AP:Associated Press
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Sane has been selected in Germany’s latest squad

Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva have been preferred in the wide positions, while Sane has had to make do with brief cameos off the bench.

And, barring one mazy dribble against Wolves, he’s largely disappointed when given a chance.

Could it be that whatever it was that aggravated Low has made itself apparent to Guardiola?

Or perhaps the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup has proved to be more of a disturbance than a motivation?

Sane was not his usual self during pre-season

Getty - Contributor
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Sane was not his usual self during pre-season

Sane featured in Germany’s 0-0 draw with France in the Nations League on Thursday night.

But his reintegration with the national team has not been wholly smooth.

Ahead of the game, Toni Kroos complimented his team-mate’s ability but questioned his body language.

“Of course he’s someone who makes you feel with his body language: whether I win or lose, it’s not that bad.

“That’s the body language. I don’t know if that’s the case.”

Sane replaced Marco Reus in the latter stages of the game

Getty - Contributor
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Sane replaced Marco Reus in the latter stages of the game

There’s large sign at City that reads: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

It would be wrong of me to accuse Sane of a lack of effort of application as we do not know the details of the situation.

However, the motto is evidence of Guardiola’s philosophy.

Anyone who has watched Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ documentary will know the intensity City’s leader demands from his players.

Nobody could doubt Sane’s ability, but with the embarrassment of riches at Guardiola’s disposal, a wavering of application is sure to be punished with a place on the bench, or a seat in the stands.

Sleeping giant

EPA
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Sleeping giant

What happens next will be a test of Sane’s character, but also of Guardiola’s man management skills.

Even with City’s strength in depth, Sane is simply too good to go to waste.

Jose Mourinho is often criticised for his handling of Anthony Martial.

And while the situation is slightly different because of City’s results in comparison to their neighbours, Sane’s reintegration depends just as much on his manager as it does himself.

If the situation were to deteriorate further, there would certainly be no shortage of willing buyers.

But every City fan will be hoping to see a fully-focused Sane back in their colours as soon as possible.

Watch this space.


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