There are few players at Bayern Munich who can get the fans off their seats in anticipation when he sets off on one of his dynamic, mazy runs like Leroy Sané. There are also few players, who frustrate the Bayern Faithful quite like Leroy Sané with his inconsistency and attitude at times. After a stunning first game on matchday 1 of the new season, could the 27-year-old be finally ready to step up and be the player that his undoubted talent promises?
After Bayern squeaked to the Bundesliga title last season having been pushed ridiculously close by Borussia Dortmund, there was much talk of the Rekordmeister clearing the decks and getting rid of some first-teamers this summer. Amongst the names being mentioned was Leroy Sané, who in his third season at Bayern since joining from Manchester City continued to both dazzle at times, but also go missing and underperform.
Eight goals and nine assist was his return last season, but in the Rückrunde his name was being mentioned in terms of leaving the club. His wife had moved back to Manchester with their two children and it was claimed the winger’s heart was no longer at Bayern. However, it turned out the move was temporary with his home in the city being renovated.
He was then involved in the infamous fight with Sadio Mané following Bayern’s exit from the Champions League and although the Senegalese forward bore the brunt of the backlash, Sané’s future was also brought into question.
Sané’s ability has never been in question, but at the age of 27, he still hasn’t fully reached the level of an absolute first-choice, who provides what he can do on a consistent basis. The first two games of this season have seen him shine and the hope is that under Thomas Tuchel and with Harry Kane in the number nine position.
Against Werder he scored the early opener (assisted by Kane) and then added a second late on to begin the season in style. In the Supercup he grabbed the attention with his defensive work, when sprinting back like a madman to stop Leipzig’s speed merchant Timo Werner, who was clean through on goal.
The pressure to perform this season is there as always, but so is the chance to finally win over the section of Bayern fans, who still have their doubts. Competition for places in the attacking three behind Kane is going to be tough again this season with Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Jamal Musiala and Thomas Müller all competing for a starting berth. With the European Championships also coming up on home soil next summer, Sané has the extra motivation to carry on his excellent start.
Bayern Munich is a highly demanding environment, where very good is not always tolerated- they want superb. Sané has always shown in fits and starts that he can fit into the latter bracket, the task for him now is to deliver that game in, game out.