Leroy Sane Must Find His Groove | Kwesé

Leroy Sane Must Find His Groove

Leroy Sane Must Find His Groove

08:45 SAST | 27 Sep 2018

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Manchester City’s star winger Leroy Sane has been criticised for not caring enough about football. German coach Joachim Low dropped him from the squad that went to Russia 2018, citing a poor attitude. Having rested the off-season, Leroy should have been fit and rearing to take the Premier League by storm. Instead, Man City’s Pep Guardiola thought he wasn’t bringing enough intensity to training and has mostly kept him on the bench. To make matters worse Sane’s German teammate Toni Kroos also questioned his attitude: “You sometimes get the feeling that it doesn’t matter to him if we win or lose,” after which the Real Madrid star added, “but that’s only his body language.”

Premier League: Leicester vs Everton (KFS, 6 October at 15:30 CAT) 

There can be little doubt that the driving force in Sane’s life is his family. His father, Souleymane, is of Senegalese descent and played professional football in Germany for a club called Wattenscheid. Leroy’s mother, Regina Weber, was also a top sporting talent, having won a gymnastics bronze medal for Germany at the 1984 Olympics. Leroy has a younger brother (Sidi) and older brother (Kim) who are also talented footballers. By all accounts they are a loving and happy family who are dedicated to sporting excellence.

Indeed, for all the criticism about Sane, there is little doubt that he is a likeable figure. Even Kroos’s criticism could be read as friendly encouragement. As Kroos put it, “It must be underlined that Germany don't have another player like Leroy with all his qualities. He's a player with all the makings to become world class, but also one who needs to be told to do so now and again.”

There are few better sights in world football than seeing Sane skipping down the touchline with the ball magically sticking to his left foot. Happily, Joachim Low has been more positive recently about Sane, including him in the German squad for the UEFA Nations League.

UEFA Nations League: Netherlands vs Germany (KFS, 13 October at 20:35 CAT)
UEFA Nations League: France vs Germany (KFS, 16 October at 20:35 CAT)

And Kroos may be onto something by suggesting that Sane responds to firm talk. Back in 2014, when Sane was at Schalke, the question of attitude also arose. On one occasion, after playing for the senior team the previous day, he turned out for the under 19s. But such was his lack of interest, the coach pulled him off after only ten minutes. The Schalke academy director and Sane’s father sat the youngster down and gave him a talking to. It worked. Leroy Sane turned things around and inspired Schalke under-19 to a championship title.

When Souleymane Sane ran onto the park for Wattenscheid it wasn’t only the opposition players he had to worry about. He also had to steel himself against the hateful racist chants from the opposition stands. It did not make him bitter, only more resilient. His son could do with some of that resilience right now.

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