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Leroy Sane proving his worth at Manchester City

Tuesday 7th March 2017
The transfer of Leroy Sane to the Premier League, which saw a large fee paid for a player only 20 years old at the time, was part of an astronomical summer spending spree at the Etihad. The German winger is now demonstrating his true talent, and Manchester City can expect even greater things from their young star in the future.

In April 2014, Sane made his Bundesliga debut for Schalke and over the next two and a half years, he appeared 57 times for Die Knappen, scoring on 13 occasions. At the same time, the youthful attacker has earned a reputation for himself internationally: 8 goals in 11 appearances for Germany Under 19s, followed by 5 in 7 games at Under 21 level while also collecting four senior caps, witnessed him attain the reputation as one of his nation's brightest prospects. With Pep Guardiola looking for reinforcements, aiming to aid his title challenge during his first season in English football, the Citizens couldn't resist the temptation and snapped up their target for £37 million. Although Man City possess almost limitless finances, it was still a high fee to pay for an untested youngster and a big risk to take.
Players in their late teens/early twenties have been known to deteriorate once they make big money moves. In the other half of the city, Manchester United signed teenager Luke Shaw for £30 million in 2014, but up to now, the left back has failed to reach the heights expected. French attacker, Anthony Martial was also brought to Old Trafford, and like his teammate, the £36 million winger is struggling to produce on a regular basis. During the summer transfer window, 22-year-old John Stones joined Man City. However, the £47.5 million-rated defender has looked uncertain in defence this season and needs to improve before he's regarded as an asset to Guardiola's side. Whereas Sane has already adapted to his new club and is contributing to the team as expected.

In his debut season in the Premier League, Sane is beginning to establish himself in the Man City side. Featuring on either the left or right of an attacking trio, he‘s started 15 games this season while coming on as a substitute a further 7 times. It's been a decent opening to his career in England, as he has already hit six goals and provided three assists; including getting his name on the scoresheet in each of the Citizens previous three encounters. Sane also proved he can perform against the top teams by scoring against both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the campaign. Away at Sunderland on the weekend, the German international made an excellent run off the ball and then finished emphatically to further showcase his talents. The Man City ace continues to develop under Guardiola's watchful gaze.
Along with his teammate on the opposite side of the pitch, Raheem Sterling, the pair form a deadly attacking threat. Both players possess blistering pace, but Sane eclipses his fellow winger with his composure on the ball and ability to assess any given situation. The former Schalke man is adept at taking on opponents, combining speed and immense skill, which makes him an effective attacker as he can create opportunities from next to nothing. The 21-year old's intelligence, awareness, and mentality to work hard off the ball ensure he fits perfectly into Guardiola's idea of how football should be played. Just how far can Sane go in the game?

With Claudio Bravo's poor start to his Man City career, John Stones' areas that need improvement, and Ilkay Gundogan's long-term injury problems - Sane is currently outperforming all of the club's recent major arrivals. While the talented youngster remains capable of adding more goals to his game, developing his crossing, and improving his ability to pick out his man from wide areas; for now, he's playing a major role for a club that aims to secure some silverware this season. If he continues to progress at Manchester City, Sane has the potential to become one of the world's finest attacking players.
Danny Glendenning

Passions include reading, sport, and nights out with friends. A football fanatic whose writing career began in May 2016. Now 30 years old, lives in South Yorkshire - local team is Doncaster Rovers, although heart lies with Arsenal. Contributing editor for It's Round And It's White. Current claim to fame is an interview with Ron Atkinson. Always looking for work, either editing or writing. Contact via email: Dannysg1988@outlook.com. Or Twitter: @DannySG1988.



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