When Bayern Munich signed Renato Sanches, his arrival was met with lofty expectations. The Bavarians’ roster, however, was already loaded with talented midfielders, which initially put the Portuguese player behind the eight-ball.
From there, things only got worse. From a failed loan at Swansea City to some bouts with immaturity (both on and off the field), Sanches just never got comfortable in Germany.
Now with Lille OSC, it seems that the now 23-year-old is finally getting into his comfort zone per Ligue1.com.
After battling some hamstring issues, Sanches scored his first Ligue 1 Uber Eats goal in Lille’s 3-0 victory over RC Strasbourg Alsace in October, but many are anticipating that being just the beginning of the good performances for Sanches.
“Honestly, I feel better than I did a few years ago when I signed for Bayern,” said Sanches, who is averaging a team-high three dribbles completed per match. “The more I play the more I have confidence in myself. This is really what’s changed since then. It’s true that it surprised a lot of people when I arrived here, but if I made this choice it was to play. And that’s what’s happening now so I’m very happy with it. Afterwards, in the team we really have a lot of young talents, and that too confirms my initial choice.”
Without having to compete with players like Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso, Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez, Arturo VIdal, Xabi Alonso, etc., Sanches is able to free his mind and just focus on being the best player he can be.
The change in scenery and mindset seems to be working as Sanches has now played 75 minutes or more in his last four games and appears to have solidified his position as a starting XI fixture. Instead of worrying bout his own playing time or situation, Sanches can focus on how he can best help his squad.
“There’s a lot of quality in our team, but we have to show it in every game, not just against Lyon! It’s a way forward,” Sanches said. “We will do the accounts at the end, and we will see if we are first, second or worse, that’s when we can really judge ourselves.”