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Leroy Sane was benched for tactical reasons, confirms Julian Nagelsmann

Sane has not started a game for over two weeks now.

FC Bayern München v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

When Bayern Munich revealed their starting XI an hour before kickoff on Sunday, fans were surprised to see Leroy Sane on the bench. Despite being left out of the lineup against Frankfurt and having a full week of rest, the 26-year-old once again found himself on the bench vs Bayer Leverkusen. With no reports of a possible injury, observers were baffled by the decision to leave Sane out against the 3rd placed team in the league.

Speaking to the media following the game, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann explained the thinking behind the decision to omit Sane from the lineup:

Nagelsmann continued by saying:

Leroy also has qualities off the bench, as we saw last week. That’s what we were hoping for. He didn’t have that decisive moment, but he still made two or three good attempts in the opponent’s penalty area.

Unfortunately that’s only half the answer — the coach didn’t explain why he couldn’t have rested either Serge Gnabry or Kingsley Coman, especially with a Champions League game in midweek. Either of those players could’ve used the rest, and Sane himself would hardly turn down game time. But since there were no reports of an injury, we’ll have to assume that the decision was tactical.

So will Sane start against Salbzurg in midweek? Nagelsmann hasn’t said anything on the subject, but you can assume that he will. If it somehow doesn’t happen, and Bayern go on to lose the game, well ... what kind of a coach would take that risk?


If you’re looking for more analysis of the game, why not check out our postgame podcast? Listen to it below or at this link.

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