Eyebrows were raised from several quarters when Leroy Sane was omitted from the German contingent to the 2018 World Cup. It defied logic that one of the country’s most exciting talents, a player who was named PFA Young Player of the Year after helping Manchester City to the Premier League and League Cup double could be considered surplus to requirements in the national team. In hindsight, it was a very poor decision from the national team manager as his contributions could have helped the side do better in Russia.
After Germany was embarrassingly dumped out of the competition, falling to make it past the group stage, Joachim Low kept his job by virtue of the goodwill he had amassed from winning the previous tournament in 2014. he knew he had to make changes moving forward.
Consequently, the ouster from the tournament has forced a new beginning. The manager has decided to start afresh building his team around a younger set of German players. One of such is Leroy Sane.
However, after compulsorily retiring some key members of the squad in favour of fresh legs, there was heightened interest on how the team will respond. Only an abundance of quality personnel to work with will prompt a manager to let go of household names like Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng from his team all at once. That, when these players still have a lot to give.
After labouring to a 1-1 draw at home to Serbia in a warm up game earlier in the week, the new look side secured a remarkable victory against the Netherlaands on Sunday night. Sane was instrumental to the win grabbing the first goal of the match 15 minutes into the encounter. Despite a second half fightback by the home side to pull level at 2-2, the Germans scored a third late on to run away with a 3-2 victory.
As with his electrifying runs in the friendly against Serbia, the Man City winger was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Dutch players. He was so dangerous on the ball the home side had to pay close attention to him. For a player who rare plays the full 90 minutes for Pep Guardiola these days, he played the full match for the Germans. That underlines his importance to the team. And yet, this is just the beginning for the 23-year-old.
The former Schalke youngster has seen a steady rise in his stock since moving to England. Under Guardiola, he has continued to develop into a much better player than he was previously. At this rate he can only become more important for both club and country.