Germany manager Joachim Loew left out Manchester City winger Leroy Sane out of his final 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup, despite the 22-year-old coming off the back of his best-ever season. He admitted disappointment in the decision from Loew but defiantly stated he will work even harder to ensure he won’t be omitted again.
“I’m obviously disappointed I won’t participate in the World Cup, but I have to accept this decision and I’ll give it my all to bounce back stronger! Nothing but the best of success to the DFB (Germany) Team in Russia. Go get that title!” he said on Twitter. Sane was initially named in the 27-man World Cup preliminary squad but didn’t make the cut when Loew had to trim the team to 23 players.
Instead, Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St-Germain), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) and Mario Gomez (Stuttgart) were given the nod to fill the attacking roles in Russia.
Sane could hardly have performed better last season
After joining City from Schalke 04 in 2016, Sane had a largely underwhelming debut season at the Etihad Stadium which finished stronger than it started. Coming off the back of scoring and creating 14 goals in 23 Bundesliga starts in the final season for Schalke, the 22-year-old managed only eight goals in 20 Premier League outings in his debut campaign at City.
However, his second season under Pep Guardiola was a success, with Sane contributing 25 goals in 27 league starts and being named Young Player of the Year for his troubles. No teammate matched his 85 successful dribbles in the league last season, while only Kevin de Bruyne (16) made more assists (15).
Sane could hardly have performed better to get into the Germany squad, which suggests his omission wasn’t based on his performances over the last 12 months. The skilful winger was instead judged on past showings for his country and due to playing style.
Is Brandt really better for Germany than Sane?
Loew revealed that Brandt got the nod for Germany over Sane, a decision that was based on performances for the national team. He said, in quotes reported by the Metro: “It was a very close decision between him and Julian Brandt, which was made in favour of Brandt. Leroy is a huge talent. He will be back again from September. He had not arrived in international matches yet.”
Sane’s international career hasn’t quite kicked off, making 11 appearances for Germany without scoring, but Brandt has made 15 for the national team and only has one goal to his name. Goal say Loew’s tactics are the real reason behind the decision, as Sane is instead adept at counter-attacking football, being on the end of attacks, rather than building them from deep.
It’s strange that the City forward was left out of the Germany squad given he could surely be a good impact player, although Brandt is believed to be better in this role. Nevertheless, why couldn’t Loew find a place for Sane in the 23-man team?