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Julian Nagelsmann downplays suggestion that Leroy Sane’s tardiness affects his starting role at Bayern Munich

Sane was reportedly late to the team bus on the way to the airport en route to the Monchengladbach match two weekends ago.

FC Bayern München v Viktoria Plzen: Group C - UEFA Champions League Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

From Bayern Munich’s last three matches across all competitions, Leroy Sane has only started once, which was the 1-0 win over Pairs Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. In that clash, he started and played all 90 minutes of the vital win at the Parc des Princes, but he was used as a substitute off of the bench in Bayern’s Bundesliga matches over both Borussia Monchengladbach and Union Berlin (3-2 loss, 3-0 win, respectively).

Per information from Bild, Sane missed the departure of Bayern’s team bus on the Friday before the Bundesliga match against Gladbach as the team departed for the airport. That’s reportedly not the first time he has been late to either a training session at Sabener Strasse, a team bus, or a team meeting. Because he missed the bus, he had to take a private car to the airport as the two buses departed earlier than he did; one with the players and one that contained the coaching staff.

Against Gladbach, Julian Nagelsmann again chose to deploy a back three system, using Alphonso Davies and Serge Gnabry as wide, wing-backs and he used Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Muller in attack. Sane came on as a sub in the 46th minute for Gnabry, but Bayern had it up against them having already gone down to 10 men early on due to Dayot Upamecano’s red card. After that match, Nagelsmann had apologized for subbing out Muller at halftime, feeling it was not the right decision for Bayern’s attack after the fact.

Despite Sane starting from the bench looking like a disciplinary measure, Nagelsmann insisted that he did plan on having the attacker in the starting lineup against Die Fohlen either way. “How it came to the incident, I don’t know exactly, because I’m sitting on another bus. I then heard that he followed privately. The fact that he was sitting on the bench had nothing to do with it. Everything else we have and we will discuss internally, that has no effect on the sport,” he explained after the loss to Gladbach (Az).

There certainly is the realistic possibility that Nagelsmann was just giving the press a little bit of lip service after the Gladbach loss, because Sane was again left on the bench to start in the the 3-0 win over Union Berlin. Nagelsmann went with Choupo-Moting, Muller, Jamal Musiala, and Kingsley Coman in attack, and it clearly worked wonders as all of the damage from Bayern was done in the first half, when they scored all three of their goals, all of which were scored and created by Choupo-Moting, Muller, and Coman.

FC Bayern München v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Whether or not Sane starting from the bench twice in a row was disciplinary or not from Nagelsmann might only be between the two of them and the rest of the squad, but perhaps it’s also a sign of things to come. He did trust Sane enough to start the first leg against PSG, but maybe that thought has changed since the missed bus incident and how well things worked against Union Berlin. It will be interesting to see Nagelsmann’s lineup and substitute decisions against both VfB Stuttgart next weekend, and then leg two against PSG the week after.

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