Manchester City letting Leroy Sane go would be a stain on Pep Guardiola’s legacy

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

“A special talent”. The exact words Pep Guardiola used to describe the signing of Leroy Sane when the Germany international joined Manchester City in a reported £37m deal back in the summer of 2016.

Since his arrival at the Etihad, the winger has shown real flashes of truly exceptional ability and his stats make for quite impressive reading considering he only turned 23 earlier this year. In 89 Premier League games, the German has fired in 25 goals and provided a further 31 assists; perhaps what is just as good is the fact that not all of those games came with him starting from the off.

The indoor football skills in the video below have to be seen to be believed…

So when reports claim that Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are very much interested in taking him back to his native Germany this summer, the reasonable answer would be to tell the Bavarian giants they haven’t got a chance in the world. Instead, City boss Pep Guardiola has left the door open for an exit, despite acknowledging that he wants him to stay.

The Spaniard said: “Two times, three times I said: we want him to stay. That’s why he has an offer to extend his contract. It’s not in our hands. The agreement is good and if he wants to leave, I’ll be sad. Hopefully, he stays.”

Guardiola’s words are of a man who seemingly wouldn’t be overly distraught were Sane to leave the club, and were that to happen, that would create a major black mark on the former Barcelona manager’s career.

Sane’s talent is undeniable; the pace, the skill and the devastating ability to destroy teams on his own. Guardiola’s treatment of the winger has been negligent at best, and shocking at worst. Indeed, The Telegraph claimed that back in February 2018, the City boss gave Sane a “furious dressing down” at half-time after suggesting that the German had failed to carry his weight in the FA Cup defeat to Wigan.

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Certain players require different methods of motivation to get the best out of them, and Sane’s possible exit would feel like the City manager has missed a trick.

Guardiola’s coaching career is unparalleled in the modern era in terms of the level of success he has enjoyed. But failing to coax the best out of Sane, and seeing him flourish in his prime years elsewhere, could go down as one of the Spaniard’s greatest mistakes when it’s all said and done.

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