Schalke 04 winger Leroy Sané was one of the most exciting signings of the summer transfer window for Manchester City, who bought one of the top prospects in European football for £37 million per the request of Pep Guardiola, and the young German looked set to take the Premier League by storm upon his arrival.
Well... he hasn't.
Sané has only started one game so far, an EFL Cup match against Swansea, and made only three other appearances as a substitute, and he wasn't able to make any meaningful contributions in any of his four games for City. Sure, it's early days, but for a player of his talent and potential, he could (and should) be doing better right now.
So why is Leroy struggling so far? The answer is quite simple: an injury. The 19-year-old came into the club nursing a hamstring injury, which took him more than a month to fully recover from. Sané is now training with the Under-21 Germany side, and he hopes to use the international matches as a fitness-building exercise to return to Manchester completely ready to play.
“I am looking forward to the extra match practice, not least because I have been out for a while with injury. The U21 side is a great springboard to the senior team and the playing time will do me good."
Sané might be Guardiola's secret weapon to return to the winning ways after two consecutive games without a victory last week. And Leroy is certainly looking forward to making a real impact on the team and please the coach that put a lot of faith in him:
“I’m getting more minutes since coming back from my injury and I can hardly wait to start my first match for Manchester City. The atmosphere at the club is something special. I am playing with top class footballers under Pep Guardiola who wanted to bring me to Manchester."
Leroy made his debut in the Manchester Derby, and it still has been difficult for him to believe he's playing for the Sky Blues. However, he's already settled at the club thanks to his teammates and his German friend, Ilkay Gundogan:
“It didn’t all sink in properly until I watched myself playing for Manchester City on television for the first time. I feel very much at home. I already knew a few players beforehand, but the teammates gave me a very warm welcome. They took care of me from the beginning and always asked if I needed any help. Ilkay Gundogan is another German player also new to the team. But as I said, we received the best welcome.”
Now that Sané is settled and will build his match fitness playing for Germany, hopefully he can finally show why he's one of the most exciting talents in Europe.