Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry both put forth strong performances in Bayern Munich’s 8-0 Bundesliga opener win over Schalke. They scored 4 goals between the two of them (Gnabry with a hat-trick) and Sane provided assists for 2 of Gnabry’s 3 goals.
While it’s still really early days seeing Sane and Gnabry play up alongside Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, they’ve already been compared to Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben - famously dubbed “Robbery.” As a result of Thiago Alcantara’s departure to Liverpool, some of Bayern’s squad numbers have changed and Gnabry has switched from #22 to #7, so now he and Sane wear the same kit numbers as Ribery and Robben (7 & 10). After the win over Schalke, Ribery took to WhatsApp to offer his praises for Sane and Gnabry by typing the message, “SANABRY” followed by the flexing bicep emoji (Bild).
When he was asked whether or not the pair of German wingers could replicate a similar legacy to the one’s he’s left behind with Robben, Ribery said, “I’m happy for both of them. I hope so! My heart still beats for Bayern. Mia san mia!”
For Gnabry, he picked up right where he left off in the Champions League knockouts tournament in Portugal as he was in a fine run of form to close out the season. For Sane, his much anticipated debut was positive, especially considering that he’s still working his way back to full match fitness after spending nearly a year on the sidelines with his cruciate ligament tear last summer. Speaking after the win, Sane expressed his delight with his debut and the overall team performance (Az): “Such a start is of course great. It felt very good to finally stand in the Allianz Arena and play football with the boys.” Hansi Flick was even pleased with how he fit so well in the squad in his debut: “It was just nice that he was right there, directly integrated into our game.”
Obviously, trying to replicate the Ribery/Robben era at Bayern is a massively tall task and those are some really big boots to fill. Here at BFW, though, we’re equally as hopeful as Ribery is that Gnabry and Sane can replicate the same kind of electrifying productivity on the flanks.