It has been two full seasons now since Bayern Munich’s long anticipated acquisition took place.
Coming off of an ACL injury during his first season in Bavaria, Sane was not great, but the old adage about players not getting to 100% until the second year after a major knee injury bought the Germany international some extra time and good will.
Sane showed flashes of his promise during that first season, but also some of the diva-like tendencies we had heard so much about. Disagreements with manager Hansi Flick and a public benching or two did not help Sane shake some perceptions about his attitude and mentality.
In his second season, however, Sane got off to a scorching start and continued to be a major impact player throughout the first half of the season. During the Rückrunde, however, Sane struggled mightily with his form — and had additional run-ins with manager Julian Nagelsmann.
After two years, hundreds of BFW posts, and thousands of BFW community opinions, it is now time to ask if it was all worth it? Is Leroy Sane living up to the hype he carried throughout that long, arduous recruitment process.
One of the biggest disagreements between Flick and sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic reportedly revolved around Sane. Flick allegedly wanted Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, while Salihamidzic wanted Sane.
In fact Sane, became the sporting director’s white whale. Over the course of 18 months, Salihamidzic chased the winger until he finally wrapped him up — without the blessing of the manager.
Why Flick did not necessarily have Sane atop his list of potential transfers is unknown. You could speculate that it was a personality conflict, but that seems to be dispelled by the relationship that the two men have when interacting for the German national team.
Perhaps Flick was skeptical of Sane being overhyped? There could be a strong argument made for this.
Or maybe Flick just felt like Werner and/or Havertz were better “fits” for what he wanted to do and wanted to coach them more?
Whatever the case, Flick and Salihamidzic did not coexist much longer after the Sane acquisition went down. Surely, there were other factors, but the public recruitment of Sane — and the disagreement between the coach and sporting director over that pursuit — certainly paved at least a little part of the way for changing history at the club.
Sane finished his first season with 10 goals and 12 assists in 44 games across all competitions.
Sane’s next season in Munich started under Nagelsmann and it started out a little slow, but then turned incredible pretty quickly. The turnaround started when Sane began playing mostly as a left wing in a 4-2-3-1 hybrid formation.
That shift breathed new life into Sane and he looked like the flashy, dominant player that Bayern Munich fans thought would be showing up in 2020/21. While the club does prefer inverted wingers, it seems like it would be something that could be pushed to the background when Sane looked so dazzling.
Even when Nagelsmann shifted to a back-three, Sane was initially performing really well as an attacking midfielder, but then the 26-year-old’s performances soon dropped off the table.
Sane finished his second season with 14 goals and 15 assists in 45 games across all competitions. In the Rückrunde, however, Sane registered just three goals and four assists in 19 games across all competitions. It could be said that there was a severe drop off in production.
At this point, it is fair to ask, “Is Sane more like the player we saw in the first half of this season or is he more apt to perform like the player we saw in the second half?” Maybe worse, “Does he simply fall somewhere in between?”
Sane’s undeniable talent and flair had fans salivating at the prospect of him being part of the next generation of Bayern Munich wingers. Finally, many fans thought, there was someone to take the mantle from Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.
While Sane has been....good. Has he been that good?
Kingsley Coman seemed to be the No.1 option at wing, while Serge Gnabry and Sane seem to be in a consistent battle for the No.2 role. Some would argue that Jamal Musiala has been better than all of them when he plays wing, which would push Sane down to No.3 on the depth chart at best.
What kind of value each player now holds under Nagelsmann remains to be seen — especially if he runs a system without wings. Certainly. the best position for all Sane, Coman, and Gnabry is at wing, while Musiala is more of a natural attacking midfielder anyway.
Even if Gnabry leaves the club this summer, Bayern Munich is reportedly already having talks with Ousmane Dembele and Sadio Mane among other wing-type players.
The competition for playing time will be tight either way.
While we do not know how Werner or Havertz would have fared at Bayern Munich under Flick — or if Flick would still be the man in charge if Salihamidzic acquired one of them over Sane, we do know that Sane has proven to have crazy talent, but is also wildly inconsistent. We know, too, that at least some of his reputation for having a bad attitude was well-earned — though, it is not like he is a bad person, he just acts like a diva at times.
With a contract that runs through 2025, Bayern Munich is likely committed to the player for another three seasons. It can be anticipated that he is here for the long haul, but it is certainly time to ask if Sane has been worth it? Would you support the club in making the move again? Tell us in the poll below.
Has Leroy Sane been worth it?
This poll is closed
Yes — Sane has lived up to expectations.
Yes — Sane’s first year was a wash because of the injury, but he earned his acclaim this season.
Meh — Sane has been okay. I’m good with the acquisition because I didn’t have high expectations anyway.
No — Sane has failed to live up to expectations and is not the winger we thought we were getting.
No — Sane has been a big disappointment.