Both Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry have not been as productive in recent weeks of the Ruckrunde for Bayern Munich and both are experiencing a bit of a rut, so to speak. Since the start of the new year, Sane has only tallied two goals and two assists, while Gnabry has only tallied two goals and three assists. Both players had more efficient numbers in the Hinrunde; Sane had goals and eleven goals and assists, while Gnabry had eleven goals and 7 assists during the first half of the season across all competitions. It’s clear that both players were far more effective.
Sane’s resurgence of form in the beginning of the season was conducive with Julian Nagelsmann’s decision to switch him from the right flank to the left, but he’s been starting him on the right more often during the Ruckrunde. Whether that’s the main reason or not for Sane’s dip in form is unclear, but Nagelsmann recently said he’s not exactly sure what the main culprit is after Bayern’s narrow 1-0 win over Augsburg over the weekend. “He’s self-critical enough and knows that he hasn’t played well lately. I don’t know why [he’s not playing as well],” he said (Sport1).
For Gnabry, he’s been used on both the right and left flanks in rotation with Sane and Kingsley Coman despite his preference to play as the number 10 just behind Robert Lewandowski. Unfortunately, for his sake, that spot is usually occupied by one of either Thomas Muller or Jamal Musiala depending on what decisions Nagelsmann makes for any given match. “If you go to every football pitch in the republic and ask the children which position they would like to play or which number they would like to have, then it’s always number 10, preferably behind the tips,” Nagelsmann said of Gnabry’s desire to assume the number 10 role. Subsequently, he said it should be seen as a compliment for Gnabry that Nagelsmann trusts him in wide roles. He should “take it more as a compliment that he can play a wide variety of positions, sometimes in the center,” Nagelsmann explained.
To make matters worse for Gnabry, he is in the midst of an uncertain future at Bayern Munich. His contract is set to expire next summer, but negotiations between the club and his representatives have not made any progress during the second half of the season. It remains unclear, at this point, whether or not all parties will eventually agree upon a contract extension, but his recent dip in form is not giving him any more leverage when it comes to the negotiating table.