This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
As confirmed on the club’s official website, Manchester City winger Leroy Sane has damaged the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is set for an extended period on the side-lines.
Reports in recent weeks had claimed the Germany international could be set for a move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, but a potential deal failed to materialise before the end of the English transfer window.
Sane’s future was rather overshadowed after going down with a knee problem during City’s Community Shield clash against Liverpool, and now the Etihad side have confirmed the worst.
Whilst Pep Guardiola may have hung on to Sane in the end, failing to get some cover in for the winger could have some major repercussions over the course of the season.
For all the talk surrounding a potential exit, it was not simply a case of City potentially getting rid of a player who hadn’t performed for the club. Despite being just 23, Sane has taken to Premier League football like a duck to water and has added a real end product to his game since a big-money move from Schalke.
Last season, the winger racked up 16 goals and 18 assists in 47 games across all competitions, and provided City with something unique. The modern wide-man often gets used as an inside-forward, looking to cut in onto their stronger foot, but Guardiola’s use of Sane has been intriguing.
The left-footed German played the majority of his games last year on the left-flank and used his pace and direct dribbling skills to get to the by-line and maintain the width.
Sane’s long-term injury means City have been robbed of a player who offers something different to the likes of Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez, who are more of those typical inside-forwards. The German is electric and a game-changer with his explosive speed, and City’s failure to act by bringing in a potential replacement may come back to haunt them.
It no doubt would have been difficult to secure someone of significant quality in the closing stages of the window, but Guardiola could really have done with another option to ease the burden on his current wide options.