Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick had to be happy to see prized transfer Leroy Sané contribute a goal during his team’s 5-2 victory over Mainz 05.
Sané, who endured over a year of transfer rumors linking him to Bayern Munich before finally moving to the club, scored the team’s second goal of the second half, which briefly knotted the game at 2-2.
For the game, the goal was Sané’s biggest contribution. The 24-year-old did complete 84% of his passes, but only had one successful dribble in five attempts, did not connect on any of his four cross attempts, won one of seven ground duels, and lost the ball 18 times overall (per SofaScore.com).
It was not a banner fixture for the Germany international, but it was a step in the right direction — which is exactly what Flick was hoping to see after the two had a conversation about the manager’s expectations of the winger and why he had not been starting.
“I talked to him frankly and explained why,” said Flick to Sky Sports after the game (as captured by Tz). “He has room for improvement. He has enormous quality. We have to give him the time. He’s not as emotional as many would like him to be. I’d be happy for him if the knot bursts. He will never be like a Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich.”
Sané also acknowledged the meeting and said he had talked to Flick after the Bayer Leverkusen game where he came on as a substitute and then was subbed out himself after 36 minutes.
“We talked afterwards,” Sané said. “It was through after one day. I didn’t give it a second thought either, but I knew that the media would now be dealing with it.”
As for how Sané thought he played against Mainz, the player was not disappointed with himself.”
“I was happy with my game,” said Sané. “I’m working hard and taking my time. I’m not putting any pressure on myself, though.”
A confident and emotionally invested Sané could be the exact spark Bayern Munich needs to continue its title push. Surely, Flick is hoping that is exactly what he sees from the 24-year-old as the season progresses.