SOCCER

‘Sane’s year of stabilisation is over’ – Salihamidzic expects Bayern Munich star to improve next season


The Allianz Arena chief says the winger’s grace period has expired, and has challenged him to become a ‘key player” under Julian Nagelsmann

Hasan Salihamidzic has warned Leroy Sane that his “year of stabilisation is over” and he expects the Bayern Munich star to improve significantly next season.

Sane sealed a €60 million (£51m/$72m) move to Bayern from Manchester City in July 2020, bringing to an end one of the longest-running transfer sagas in recent memory.

The German winger failed to justify such a high fee in his first year at Allianz Arena, having needed extra time to get back to full fitness following surgery on a cruciate knee ligament injury.

What has been said?

Bayern sporting director Salihamidzic was not surprised Sane struggled for consistency after so long away from the pitch, but has now challenged him to nail down a regular spot in the team under incoming head coach Julian Nagelsmann.

“Leroy had a year off with injury,” the Allianz Arena chief told Kicker. “In his first season with us he showed some good games, now we expect him to be a key player and support the team.

“The year of stabilization is over. I have big confidence in him, even though he has a different character than other players. A year of truth is ahead of him, and he will get all the support from all of us.”

Sane’s record at Bayern

Sane played in 44 games in all competitions in his debut season at Bayern, helping them clinch a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title.

The 25-year-old also contributed 10 goals and 12 assists, but found himself in and out of the team amid strong competition for places out wide alongside Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry.

How has Sane performed at Euro 2020?

Sane’s underwhelming form has carried over into Germany’s European Championship campaign, with his latest outing coming in the 2-2 draw with Hungary.

The former City star made his first start of the tournament in the decisive Group F fixture after substitute appearances against France and Portugal, replacing the injured Thomas Muller, but squandered a number of clear openings in the final third.

Joachim Low is now under pressure to drop Sane for his team’s last 16 clash with England as they bid to set up a quarter-final tie against either Sweden or Ukraine.

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