Depending on what Bayern Munich-related circles of social media and the internet you frequent, you might be starting to see two camps develops:
- Camp One: This is all a process with Leroy Sané and he’s going to be fine.
- Camp Two: Damn the torpedoes, we need another winger!
I’m going to tell you, I just spent the better part of a year-and-a-half listening to people pine for a certain German winger, and damn it, we are not going through that again.
Think about the dozens of Advils taken, the hundreds of beers consumed, and the thousands of expletives uttered every...single...time we at BFW saw a new Sané rumor; knowing that one of us was going to have creep behind a keyboard and fire out another update.
All kidding aside...this has to work and not just because my liver might proactively tap out.
Sané is both immensely talented and incredibly unpredictable. His pure skills, pace, and ability are what scouts everywhere dream of, but his coachability and mentality have been questioned numerous times in the past.
Is he the ultra-dangerous weapon we saw earlier this season or is he the (allegedly) high-maintenance diva that would have caused Pep Guardiola to lose his hair....you know, if he had any left?
We might be starting to see that he is somewhere in between those two extremes. The reality is, however, that Sané has been given a clean slate with Bayern Munich and it is up to him to take advantage of that.
From what we can see on the outside, the team has embraced Sané, the coaching staff has supported him, and the player — when healthy — has (for the most part) looked engaged and willing to be a part of the #MiaSanMia fraternity.
That part of the equation cannot be debated. The foundation where Sané is building his new career is as stable as anywhere on Earth. You could not ask for a better place to re-invent your career.
So, where does this leave the most anticipated transfer in the history of the club? As they like to say in tennis, the ball is in his court.
Bayern Munich has already given Sané a mulligan for this season. From front office personnel to the coaching staff to his teammates, everyone is saying that Sané needs more time to fully recover from his devastating knee injury — and to also fully acclimate to the club and his new manager.
And he does!
But what this also shows — aside of a lot of common sense — is that literally EVERYONE wants him to succeed.
But the 24-year-old is not just facing the arduous task of trying to regain his pre-injury form or to get used to the demands of a new manager; he is dealing with frustration...and maybe even some self-doubt.
These are normal issues for professional athletes, but a downturn in form, coupled with a bout with his confidence, and then grouped with the pressure of just about every single Bayern Munich fan expecting a “wing savior”, seems to be getting the best of Sané right now.
All of that makes this the exact perfect time for the winter break.
At this point, Flick might as well take an oath similar to the Night’s Watch when dealing with Sané: “The Rückrunde gathers, and now my work on Sané begins.”
For all of his communication skills, relationship building, and the all-around respect that he has fostered with his roster, Flick now must go the extra mile: He has to find a way to ensure that Sané doesn’t ruin the fresh start he has been given.
Be it through tough love or via pampering, Flick’s biggest challenge to date this season is ensuring that Sané’s stays on course. A player with such personal expectations on everything from playing time to his own form, will require some “handling with care” which Flick surely knows.
There is no reason to panic and there is no reason to believe Sané will flame out in Bavaria. Quite the contrary, Flick is on the job and he won’t let it happen, because with this manager — and with the full support of the locker room and front office in Munich — if Sané can’t make it there, he won’t make it anywhere.
And that will not happen. So, yeah, it is way too early to write Sané off.
Just buckle in and enjoy the scenery for now. When Sané is fully back up to speed, this is going to he a hell of a ride and Flick will just be sitting back letting someone else take the credit he deserves.
He has gotten used to that lately, eh?