Leroy Sane: 10 things about Bayern Munich and the Germany winger

Leroy Sane is a two-time Bundesliga and English Premier League winner, but what else is there to know about the Bayern Munich and Germany winger? bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the lively left-footed player…

1) Born to Play?

It should perhaps come as no surprise that Sane has the athletic qualities to thrive in professional football. The fastest player on record in the Premier League, having clocked a top speed of 22.05 mph in City’s 1–0 win at Chelsea in September 2017, Sane combines his pace with technique and creativity to make him a force to be reckoned with. Makes it a nightmare. Opposition defender.

In this example (Byrne’s eye?) the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Sané’s father Souleymane, known as Sammy, scored 29 goals in 55 games as a striker for Senegal in the 1990s, as well as being on target 116 times in the top two divisions of German football. Souleymane met Leroy’s mother during the first of his two stints at the now-defunct SG Wattenscheid 09. Regina Weber was a rhythmic gymnast who won an Olympic bronze medal for Germany at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

2) Keeping it in the family

Sane is the middle child of three brothers, and although the Bayern man has undoubtedly made the greatest progress in the game, the other two – Kim and Sidi – have also played football. Kim – a year older than Leroy – came through Schalke’s famous Knappenschmiede academy and even played alongside – or, perhaps more accurately, behind – Leroy at U19 level in 2014. A former right-back, he last played for Wattenscheid in 2017 before retiring due to injury.

Youngest brother Sidi – who turns 18 in 2021 – made his Bundesliga debut in the 2022/23 campaign. A winger like Leroy, Sidi prefers his right foot as opposed to his brother’s left foot, but both can line up on either flank behind a central striker. Sidi has also been unfortunate with injuries which have hampered his development, but the club is optimistic that they have another promising talent.

“He’s had a lot of bad luck, but he’s got quality,” Schalke youth coach Willy Landgraf said of the 6’2″ Sidi. “Not many players have his qualities.”

3) What’s in a name?

Born Leroy Aziz Sané on 11 January 1996 – thus sharing his birthdate with footballing royalty such as Gerson, Bryan Robson, Jamie Vardy and, thanks to the persuasion of Championship manager Mike Duff – Bayern’s new star was named after his father. Named after Souleymane’s former Senegal coach. Claude Le Roy.

Le Roy – whose name literally means “The King” in French – handed Sané Sr. his international debut in 1990, and at exactly the right time. Then-France coach Michel Platini was weeks away from giving the striker his debut for Les Bleus, but Otto Pfister – a German coach who preceded Le Roy in the Senegal dugout – informed the African Nations Association about Sammy’s roots. told.

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4) Germany over other options

Due to FIFA eligibility extending to the country of birth of the player’s grandparents, Leroy could play for each of Germany, Senegal and France. He is a French national and, with Kingsley Coman, Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, Michael Cuisance and Tanguy Nianzou already at Bayern, will share at least two languages with many of the players at the Sane Allianz Arena – football and French. .

However, there was little question as to whether the Essen-born attacker would commit to Germany. He made his debut for Marcus Sorg’s U19s in September 2014, scoring in a 3–2 win over the Netherlands, and took only 14 months to progress to the first team with 10 goals in 21 youth internationals under his belt. He made his full debut in November 2015 against France in Paris. Sané returned to France for UEFA Euro 2016, although he missed out on being included in the 2018 FIFA World Cup squad. However, he was named in Germany’s UEFA Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup squads.

5) A breath of fresh air in Manchester

With 11 goals in 47 Bundesliga games for Schalke, Sane swapped Gelsenkirchen for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the summer of 2016. Although he moved directly ahead of Raheem Sterling as their first-choice left winger, Sane’s numbers initially languished. Eight goals and six assists in his final Bundesliga season became five goals and three assists in his first Premier League campaign.

Still only 21 when he made the move, such an adjustment was to be expected. However, it was revealed that Sane was struggling with breathing problems, which was hampering his progress, and he underwent corrective surgery to relieve chronic nasal congestion at the conclusion of his first campaign in England. “I have decided to use the summer holidays for this operation so that I can go into the new season with clean health,” he said.

6) Fulfilling your immense potential

That clean bill of health meant a new lease of life, and Sane was nothing if not a footballing force of nature as City secured the double of the Premier League and EFL Cup in his second season. He scored 10 goals and 15 assists in the league, with 14 and 19 in each column in all competitions. He was named the 2017/18 PFA Young Player of the Year, ahead of his City teammates Sterling and Ederson, as well as Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane.

Sane missed out on the Premier League Playmaker of the Season award to City colleague and former Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg star Kevin De Bruyne due to one low assist. However, he scored a goal every 162 league minutes played that season, while the Belgian’s rate was one every 193.

7) First return to Germany

Sane had enjoyed pleasant homecomings earlier in his career, returning to Schalke as a City player in February 2019 when the teams met in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. During the first leg at the Veltins Arena, a pair of Nabil Bentaleb penalties put the Royal Blues 2–1 ahead with five minutes remaining. However, Sane equalized with a superb free-kick, before Sterling secured a 3–2 win.

There was less debate about the result in the return match, with City winning 7–0 and Sané scoring one and assisting three others. However, the player’s class was evident on both sides, as he refused to celebrate against his former club.

“Yeah, I was a little [sorry],” Sane said after the first leg. “I couldn’t really celebrate. Of course, I was happy for my team, but scoring a goal like that against my former love…”

WATCH: Leroy Sane’s Schalke best highlights

8) A star for Schalke in Europe

Undoubtedly, Sane felt so bad about scoring against Schalke, because that was where he spent his youth as well as his early years as a professional.

He made his debut for the Royal Blues in April 2014 – during a 3–1 defeat against VfB Stuttgart – and finished with 13 goals and eight assists in 57 appearances in all competitions.

Sane once played a prominent role for Schalke in the Champions League, before returning to Europe to score against them for City. In March 2015 – with his team trailing 3–1 on aggregate in the second leg of their last-16 tie – the 19-year-old was defiant when he was transferred to Real Madrid.

A first-half substitute for the injured Eric Choupo Maxim-Moting, Sané scored with a powerful left-footed shot after 57 minutes on his first appearance in the competition. That attack was part of a dramatic fightback from the visitors. Although they won 4–3 on the night, however, they fell behind by a goal and lost 5–4 on aggregate.

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9) Being a repeat offender

However, Sane has made a habit of scoring goals against Schalke in recent years. On his Bundesliga debut for Bayern on the opening night of the 2020/21 season, the Germany attacker scored the seventh goal in an 8–0 thrashing of his former team in Munich.

When Sane was asked about such a painful defeat, he said, “I regret it a little.”

Sané did not score on his return to Gelsenkirchen later the same campaign, but he still helped Bayern record another 4–0 win the year his old club were relegated.

10) A versatile scorer with great goals…

…and a great contributor to goals too! In 135 first-team appearances for City, Sane was involved in a goal every 106 minutes – either scoring one or creating one. In his first season with Bayern, he scored a goal every 119 minutes.

The tricky winger scored 10 times in all competitions and also had double figures in assists in the Bundesliga as Bayern retained their title.

It was an impressive return for the new signing, especially considering he was coming back from a cruciate ligament injury suffered in August 2019.

He has continued to progress under new Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann, scoring seven goals and eight assists in 2021/22 and contributing a further 15 goals during the first half.

“He has it all,” Nagelsmann said. “His speed and ability at running back, and when he’s running back and the confidence is flowing, he’s a top player.”

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