Manchester City is missing the talents of Leroy Sane this season: Premier League 2019-20
- Manchester City have struggled to replicate what Leroy Sane offers to a side full of attacking talent.
- The title race could have been a lot closer with Sane in the City squad this season.
At the start of August last year, Leroy Sane would have been anticipating yet another defining season, full of goals, trophies, and memorable moments. Fast forward 8 months, and the German has had a season to forget after spending most of it on the sidelines at the Etihad.
The former Schalke man picked up an injury in the very first game of the season in the Community Shield match against title rivals Liverpool. The knee ligament damage left Sane out for at least 6 months. The injury severely damaged Sane's potential move to Bayern Munich. Manchester City too suffered in the German's absence, going 25 points behind in the title race after losing a key player in him.
When the injury occured, many City fans would have been fearing the worst for the club, who would be missing a key link to a record-breaking side. The winger netted 16 goals as well as assisting a further 18 last season, making a total of 34 goal contributions. He was involved in more goals last season than Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez, highlighting both his ability to provide goals by assisting and by scoring himself.
One thing that was clear from last season however was that Sane was only getting better, with this season supposedly being his peak. With him alongside the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, City may have been in a better position in defending their league title.
City have missed his ability to run at defenders and take them on. The 24-year old made an average of 2.4 dribbles per game in the Champions League last season, more than both Raheem Sterling and Mahrez have managed this season in the same competition, highlighting Sane's ability when taking defenders on 1-on-1.
Sane would have provided a different element to City's play this season due to his more direct nature compared to Sterling, whose form has gradually come to a standstill after going 7 games without a goal contribution. It is in times like these when Pep Guardiola would have been grateful for his squad's depth, and Sane's ability to fill in for the out of form Sterling in what could've been a closer title race.
Sane could still play a big part in a disappointing season so far for Manchester City. The FA Cup is a competition that Manchester City have every chance of winning. And with Sane back in the squad, Guardiola will be hoping to end the season on a high.Published 23 Mar 2020, 13:27 IST