Many football supporters were left stunned earlier today when it was announced that Leroy Sané had missed out on a place in Germany’s World Cup squad. Joachim Löw opted against the inclusion of Sané in his 23-man squad for this summer’s tournament, which has come as a surprise after the season the youngster has had at Manchester City.
A sensational season at City
Before this decision was made, many people felt that the 22-year-old winger would be a key player for Germany in the World Cup due to the impressive progress he has made this season at the Etihad Stadium.
Sane scored 14 goals and picked up a further 19 assists in all competitions for the Citizens this season, as they won both the Premier League and the Carabao Cup. His contribution was recognised as he was named the Premier League’s young player of the year.
Germany’s midfielders for World Cup: Julian Brandt (Bayern Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Leon Goretska (Schalke), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich).
When explaining his decision to leave Sané out of the World Cup squad, Löw said that it was a very close call between him and Bayern Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt.
He said: “Leroy is a huge talent. He will be back again from September. He had not arrived in international matches yet. It was a very close decision. If it was a 100 metre race, it would have been a photo finish.”
Brandt does have slightly more experience on the international stage than Sané, but Löw’s decision does still come as a surprise due to Sané’s performances for City this year. Brandt scored 12 goals and picked up seven assists for Leverkusen this season meaning that he was directly involved in 14 fewer goals than Sané was for City. However, Brandt arguably does more work defensively for his side and may be more reliable at the World Cup.
Yet to perform for his country
Despite the fact that Sané has undoubtedly enjoyed a superb season for City, he is yet to replicate those performances for his country. He has so far made 12 appearances for Germany, failing to score a single goal and picking up just one assist. This means that it takes him an average of 592 minutes to be involved in a goal on the international stage. If Löw has based his decision based purely on international experience, it is clear to see why Sané did not make the squad.
Sané was named in the starting line-up for Germany’s 2-1 defeat to Austria on Saturday evening and his performance in this game will have done him no favours. He struggled to make an impact throughout the match and was replaced by Marco Reus in the 67thminute. Nils Peterson, who also started that game, is another to have missed out on the squad, as well as Bernd Leno and Jonathan Tar.
However, there is still a slight chance that Sané could yet feature at this summer’s tournament in Russia. If one of Germany’s attacking players picks up an injury before their first group game, it would allow Löw to make a last minute change to his squad.