Manchester City is in a hypothetical situation regarding Leroy Sane. The German’s contract expires in 2021. And unlike players in his age bracket, nothing tangible has been done.
It is reported that Sane’s mum, Regina Weber, West Germany’s 1984 Olympic gymnastics bronze medalist, is obstructive to City’s attempt to tie down the winger. Although his dad officially represents him with the help of intermediaries, Weber has become involved in talks.
The entire contract saga may not be disconnected from Sane’s fewer minutes this season. The 23-year-old started 26 matches across all competitions. He’s not lasted the entire duration in a Premier League match since the defeat of Liverpool early January.
He may likely have played less had left-back Benjamin Mendy stayed away from the treatment room. The Frenchman remains unfit though, even so, with Oleksandr Zinchenko excelling at left-back, Sane’s minutes are still being managed.
For a 23-year-old player of his ability – the reigning PFA Young Player of the Year, no less – it is an unusual situation. Sane was crucial last season as the Citizens swept the division with a swashbuckling high-pressing style. A troubled summer played a part.
Sane was demoted from the matchday squad in August due to a perceived attitude problem, not long after similar complaints led to his omission from Germany’s World Cup squad. It was tough love from Pep Guardiola who instead turned focus to Bernando Silva.
The ex-Schalke youngster stock rose steadily in the first two years at the Etihad. However, it somewhat crashed ahead of this campaign. His development stagnated by an unbearable attitude and nonchalance. It was as though he was not unsure of his own talents. Win or lose, his demeanour remained the same.
Sane’s image took a hit of its own when photographs emerged of a big tattoo on his back portraying him celebrating after scoring a goal. He was stuck in the middle of a family row, with his pregnant girlfriend on one side and his parents, who are also his agents, on the other.
The German, however, responded in the best possible way; impressing whenever he’s called upon. Leroy Sane’s display against his former club Schalke 04 – featuring a goal and a hat-trick of assists was the icing on the cake.
Overall, he’s been involved in 27 strikes across all competitions (14 goals, 13 assists). In the Premier League alone, Sane chipped in with eight goals, lacing one more for teammates. The German is focused than ever, shouldering more responsibilitities. Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Low attests.
“His development has been good in both the national team and for Manchester City. He has put in some great performances, but what is more important to me is that he has taken a big step forward.
“He has really mastered his jobs on the pitch. He has incredible skills and has brought them to the pitch in the last six months”
City recognises his fantastic abilities and value. The club has made a poignant effort to tie him to a new contract. Just as they did with Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Silva and goalkeeper Ederson have all penned contract extensions.
It will be deadly for Guardiola to allow such an important player depart.
Written by Toby Prince
Follow Toby on Twitter @prinzToby
Like O-Posts on Facebook
You can also follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts