Manchester City winger Leroy Sané knows about being the victim of an untimely cut by Joachim Löw, as the 23-year-old was unexpectedly lopped from the squad last summer prior to Germany’s humiliating performance during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Choosing his words carefully, Sane briefly talked to SportBild about the recent news that Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, and Mats Hummels were told their international careers were over as long as Löw was the coach. “It’s the coach’s decision,” he said. “Obviously, on the one hand you have to take it that way. The coach has a plan.”
Of course, that does not mean that the decision was an easy one. Sané added, “They have good qualities, are very, very good players, became world champions, are still at a very, very high level.” But the German national team will carry on just fine in Sané’s view: “We still have very, very good players, very experienced players. That’s why we’ll manage very well.”
The circumstances surrounding Sané’s cut and that of the Bayern trio are different of course. Sané lost a close race to Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt and Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler for the team’s final wing spot. At the time, Low gave this rationale behind the decision to cut Sané:
That was a very close decision between him and Julian Brandt, which was made in favor of Brandt. Draxler, Reus and Muller are set. 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 meter race, it would have been a photo finish.
Sané’s development and maturity were discussed prominently by Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos last September when the Manchester City star re-joined the national team. Kroos simultaneously talked about Sané’s insane talent and qualities, but also why his body language and attitude may have caused Low to cut him:
He is fundamentally a player who has everything to become absolutely world class, but who also, of course, seemingly again and again — let’s say — has to have it said to him that he should do that. What’s clear, though, is that you have to find a way get him to deliver his top performance, because if he can do that . . . it’d be a massive boost, because it’d definitely give us more options for our game with the attributes that he has — of course, when he brings them onto the pitch. Of course he’s somebody who from his body language you have the impression, a bit, “OK, win or lose is not so bad,” that’s his body language. I don’t know whether it’s true.
Regardless, Sané — like Manuel Neuer — did not criticize Löw and spoke more around the issues rather than risk irritating the German coach. The politically correct response may not be the worst method for self-preservation these days with Die Mannschaft.
For his part, Sané is letting his play on the pitch do the talking for him. In Manchester City’s Champions League win over Schalke 04 yesterday, the German talent had a goal and three assists during City’s 7-0 victory yesterday.