Leroy Sané has today become Manchester City’s fourth big signing of the summer, following İlkay Gündoğan, Nolito and Oleksandr Zinchenko to the club. The Sané saga has been a frustrating one, mirroring the signing of Kevin De Bruyne from a different German club last season. The deal was held up a number of times due to haggling, with Txiki Begiristain refusing to be held to ransom for the German winger. Finally, Pep Guardiola has got his man, with City initially paying an initial £37m for the talented son of former Senegalese international footballer, Souleymane Sané. Leroy will wear the number 19 shirt in his first season with The Blues, after signing a long-term contract with the club.
So, what type of player is he?
Sané possesses great pace and is an exceptional dribbler of the ball. His best position is on the right wing as he enjoys cutting inside onto his left, his stronger foot. Sané, much like fellow new signing Nolito, isn’t afraid to put a tackle in. It would not be a great surprise to see Guardiola deploying him as a right wing-back, in order to utilise his defensive skills. Sané is still very raw however, with his crossing and ability to keep the ball requiring plenty of coaching.
Sané is still 20 and has only recently broken onto the scene for Schalke. They signed him back in 2005 at the age of 9 from SG Wattenscheid. Apart from a three year spell with Bundesliga rivals, Bayer Leverkusen, Sané has been in Gelsenkirchen ever since.
Some fans may remember him playing against City in the 2014/2015 UEFA Youth League, a game in which he caught the eye of all those watching.
Slightly fortunate but City clinical and improved after the goal. Sané for Schalke a danger, already played (and scored) for their 1st team.
— City Watch (@City_Watch) February 24, 2015
It was clear even from the game against City that Sané was far too good for youth football, he was ready to make the step up, permanently. A year after his first team debut, Sané began to establish himself as a regular in the matchday squad. Having been brought on to make his Champions League debut against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu, Sané scored a spectacular goal past Iker Casillas in a 4-3 win. This earned him the trust of then manager, Roberto Di Matteo, who gave him his first Bundesliga start just four days later, scoring against Hertha Berlin in the process. Sané has made 55 appearances for Schalke’s first team in total, scoring 13 goals and providing 7 assists.
Leroy Sané's 2015/16 Bundesliga season by numbers:
28 chances created
Talented kid. pic.twitter.com/tTB9JKmjgQ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 31, 2016
Sané has featured in 17 games for Germany’s youth sides, scoring 13 goals from the wing, a very impressive return.
This, and Sané’s club form, were enough to convince Germany coach, Joachim Löw, to take him to the 2016 European Championships in France, ahead of established winger, Karim Bellarabi. Sané only made one substitute appearance at the tournament but it will have been a fantastic experience for him and it is an indication of just how highly he is rated.
Ahead of a game against Schalke in 2015, Pep Guardiola said this about our new signing.
Pep Guardiola in November: "Sané is a huge talent and I can only congratulate Germany to have a talent like him."
— City Watch (@City_Watch) January 3, 2016
Pep is clearly excited by his potential, and if he is able to develop Sané in the same way that he has done with fellow young wingers, Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman, we will have a real star on our hands.
Welcome to Manchester, Leroy.
Will Leroy Sané be a part of your team in City Watch’s Fantasy Football league? Join up for your chance to win a 2017/18 Manchester City shirt!