At different points this season Sane has been equal parts amazing and frustrating. His talent tantalizes, but his production puzzles...and the question remains, what exactly does Bayern Munich have in Sane?
It is not an easy question to answer.
Sane’s talent level is off-the-charts and he has shown flashes of of why he was so sought-after by Bayern Munich. With electric pace and quickness, a potent left-foot, and creativity for days, Sane seemed to check off all the boxes that Bayern Munich was looking for in a winger. Sane even embraced defending, tracking back, and committing to his responsibilities on both ends of the pitch.
The critique that Sane is lazy does not hold water these days; his effort has not been an issue aside of some rough patches earlier in the season. As far as production goes, Sane is currently sitting at eight goals and 11 assists in 38 games across all competitions this season. Not great, but by no means bad...but probably a little below where most fans hoped he would be.
Still, Sane is quite the confounding figure. At 25-years-old, he is still young enough to evolve into a world class player, but there are at least some reasons to doubt he can achieve that level.
Sane’s decision-making and consistency have been critiqued this season and there is no doubt that he could best be described as mercurial. Sane also spent the large part of the season being the third-best winger on the squad behind Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry. Coman, however, has begun to fade and Gnabry was arguably just as up-and-down as Sane.
So...where does that leave us on assessing Sane’s first season:
- It’s not over, but we’ve seen enough to know that Sane’s potential made him a worthwhile investment. There is no reason to think this move was a failure. Sane’s promise as a player gives fans hope that he can elevate his game even further.
- We also know that a lot of what we had previously heard about his “diva-like” tendencies was completely overblown. Compared to James Rodriguez’s stint in Germany, Sane is a grinder, who brings his lunch pail to work, and digs ditches from 9-to-5 every day.
- While extremely talented and still full of potential, Sane still has a way to go in making himself an apt comparison to both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Truthfully, there are not many wingers in the world who could live up to the lofty standard set by the legendary duo of “Robbery.” I’d say the expectations that Sane was going to enter the Bundesliga and set it on fire were just too much.
When assessing Sane’s first season, it is easy to see why some are happy, some are frustrated, and some are just...unsure. All of those feelings are warranted based on an individual’s perspective of the move, the long-term pursuit of the player, and what expectations you might have had entering the season.
Basically, there are no wrong answers or wrong feelings on Sane at this point.
Where should we end up on this? Sane is a good player, but he is yet to become a great player. Can he get there? That is what we are all going to find out over the final four years of Sane’s contract.
Weekly music selection: “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
I wanted to venture off the “hype music” trail for this week, so I hit back with one of my al-rock favorites from the mid-aughts. This song will not be for everyone, but it’s a terrific feel for what the alt-rock/indie rock scene was during that period.
Even thought this track is 16 years old or so right now, I still sift through my playlist to find it and play it on a regular basis. The tune itself gained some notoriety because it appeared on an episode of The Office — specifically the episode where Jim had a party and didn’t invite Michael.
Anyway, enjoy this tune, I hope it makes your day a little better:
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah has a lot of good stuff out there. To paraphrase Bob Slydell from Office Space, “I celebrate their entire catalog.”
Bayern Munich is still missing the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka, Niklas Süle, Serge Gnabry, Corentin Tolisso, Douglas Costa — and Lucas Hernandez’s status likely will not be determined until game time.
The walking wounded remains, well, wounded.
The Bavarians are not just limping across the finish line for this season, they are being dragged by manager Hansi Flick as he strains to find a way to finish out this campaign in a strong manner.
Against Wolfsburg, Flick is really going to have to work his magic.
At third-place in the table and trailing Bayern Munich by 11 points, it is not likely that the Wolves can still finish atop the table, but there is an ever-so-slight chance that it could happen. More, Wolfsburg is dangerously close to clinching its own spot in the Champions League, which surely has Oliver Glasner and his squad motivated in match.
On the road, Bayern Munich will have to work hard to fight through their collective fatigue and battle against a very hungry opponent. This game will tell us a lot about the mentality of the squad. There is only one trophy to play for these days — the DFB-Pokal and Champions League are no longer on the table — and there are certainly a lot of distractions to fight through...can Bayern Munich maintain its focus and its own hunger for the next month?
Under Flick, I think so...but Wolfsburg will not let Bayern Munich off-the-hook easy.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 1-2 Bayern Munich
Predictions for other Bundesliga games include:
- RB Leipzig 2-1 Hoffenheim
- FC Augsburg 2-1 Arminia Bielefield
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
- SC Freiburg 2-1 Schalke 04
- Union Berlin 2-1 VfB Stuttgart
- Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 FC Köln
- Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Werder Bremen
- Mainz 05 2-2 Hertha Berlin
Last Bundesliga match day record: 4-5
Last Champions League match day record: 0-1
Overall record: 134-131*
Guest predictors’ record: 23-4*
(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, Club World Cup, and Champions League)