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Will Leroy Sane be a hit at Bayern Munich?

Leroy Aziz Sane has completed his move to German giants Bayern Munich from Manchester City in a deal worth 44.7 million pounds with a series of performance and trophy related add-ons. Man City will also take 10 percent of any profit made by the Bayern Munich should they sell Sane in the future. Sane put pen to paper on a five year deal with the Bundesliga champions, keeping him at the club until June 2025. Sane was valued at 100 million pounds last summer. However, Bayern couldn’t meet City’s asking price. Aside from the issue with the transfer fee, an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the English Community Shield game against Liverpool halted the deal. His only first-team appearance since his injury was an 11-minute cameo from the bench against Burnley. The reigning German champions have felt compelled for some time now to strengthen their wide areas following the exit of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery after the end of the 2018-19 Bundesliga season. Sane will join Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Niklas Sule, adding to a crop of young talented German players approaching their prime. Sane joined Man City from Schalke in August 2016 and enjoyed a successful spell at Man City. Sane made 135 appearances for Man City, scoring 39 goals.

In his time at the Etihad, Sane won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two English League Cups, and two Community Shields as well as the prestigious PFA young player of the year award in 2018.

 

What’s so special about Sane?

Sane is an excellent player who has shown over the past few years that he is a top-quality player who can become world-class very soon. Sane’s influence on Pep Guardiola’s team was immense during his time in Manchester.

In the absence of Sane, Manchester City have struggled throughout the current season. This season, Man City has already lost more games than they did in the last two seasons combined. Sane boasts electrifying pace and superb control that makes him a feared player in one on one situations. Not only can he use his speed to advance quickly into large open spaces on attacking transitions, but he equally remains an asset when playing in tight and congested areas. Sane can also operate on either the left or the right side of the attack. Sane could also play off Robert Lewandowski in the unlikely event that Thomas Muller is absent due to fatigue or injury. Sane’s assist numbers illustrate his eye for a pass and also a great scorer of goals or at least the owner of an incredible amount of goal involvements. Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Sane has averaged a goal or an assist every 96 minutes in all games. Should the unthinkable happen and Robert Lewandowski gets injured, the task of scoring goals for the Bundesliga champions will fall on the shoulders of Thomas Muller and the young Joshua Zirkzee. Muller’s lack of any real physical qualities makes him an unlikely candidate. Zirkzee, meanwhile, is a prodigious talent, but replacing the highest foreign goalscorer in Bundesliga history over a long period could be a lot to risk. It’s very likely Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick would turn to Sane. As a result of his pace and skills, Flick can play Sane as a false nine and be flanked by compatriot Serge Gnabry and French winger Kingsley Coman to form a devastatingly quick front three.

 

What next for Sane and Bayern Munich?

Bayern Munich has bagged one of the top talented young forwards in Europe. However, one big area of concern is Sane’s fitness. Recent research suggests that the chances of anterior cruciate ligament injuries are high for those who have previously suffered it. A British Journal of Sports Medicine’s study indicates that only 65% of players play at the top level three years after suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament rupture. The big question is, will Sane be the same player he was at Man City?

At his best, Sane collected the PFA young player of the year award in 2018 and helped Man City wrap up an impressive domestic treble last season. If the German Champions can get a lot of excellent performances out of him consistently, then Sane can be the final piece in Hansi Flick’s Bayern jigsaw. Sane could turn Bayern from perennial Bundesliga winners into perennial UEFA Champions League contenders.

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