Despite not having his best outing by any stretch of the imagination, Leroy Sane admitted that he was surprised to be replaced by Jamal Musiala in the 68th minute of Bayern Munich’s 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Sane had come on in the 32nd minute of the first half to replace the injured Kingsley Coman, so only clocked a total of 36 minutes in the massive win. Of course, there were tactical switches when Sane came off along with Corentin Tolisso, as Musiala and Joshua Kimmich came on. Sane, though, was visibly frustrated to be making way after just over a half hour of play time.
After the match, Sane told Bild (via Az) that he was surprised to be taken off after coming on as a substitute in the first half.
“I didn’t expect the substitution, it was a surprise at first, but that happens. The team was by my side after the final whistle, and we were happy with the win,” he said.
Both Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski were quick to offer their praise for Sane after the match, even though he wasn’t playing particularly well. Both of his teammates agree that he still needs some time to fully hit his stride at Bayern. Hansi Flick had also said it wasn’t anything personal to take Sane off, but purely tactical. He didn’t want to take out Muller or Serge Gnabry, so Sane was the logical person to take off in his eyes.
Well aware that he did not perform well in Leverkusen, Sane said he knows that his form needs to improve. He’s coming off of a layoff of over a year due to his ACL tear and he also had to recover from an ankle injury he suffered in the 4-1 loss to Hoffenheim back at the end of September.
Naturally, as Lewandowski had alluded to, it will take time for Sane to fully come to fruition at Bayern. He knows he’s not performing up to his own standards, but promises that will change: “I myself am my greatest critic and I can classify the fact that I was not able to call up my capabilities in the end. But that will change.”