The Stats Behind Leroy Sane's Season Are Actually Ridiculous
In one of the most shocking omissions in World Cup history, Leroy Sane has not been included in Germany's World Cup squad by Joachim Low.
After the incredible season he's just conjured up, the lightning quick winger looked to be one of the first names on the teamsheet and many tipped him to light up the showpiece in Russia.
He was a regular throughout qualifying and played in six of the nation's last seven games before receiving the news he's been overlooked today.
Admitting it was a close call, Low opted for Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt instead of the Manchester City man.
He offered the following explanation, as per The Mirror.
"That was a very close decision between him and Julian Brandt, which was made in favor of Brandt. Draxler, Reus and Müller are set. Leroy has a huge talent.
"He will be back again from September. He had not arrived in international matches yet.
"It was a very close decision. If it was a 100 metre race, it would have been a photo finish."
Low has a point about Sane not truly arriving on the world stage. In his 12 appearances for Die Mannschaft, Sane has only produced one assist and failed to score - yet Brandt's record isn't much different as he has scored just once in 14 outings.
And Sane has just come off the back of a truly scintillating season in which he's been an integral part of a record-breaking Manchester City side, who won two trophies and amassed an unprecedented 100 points.
The former Schalke man was a deserved recipient of the PFA Young Player of the Year award, and was one of only five players to boast a tally of ten or more in terms of goals and assists - achieving it in less minutes than others.
Furthermore, no German player across the top five European leagues was involved in more goals than he was in the entirety of the campaign just gone.
5 - In the 2017-18 Premier League, Leroy Sane was one of only five players to reach both 10+ goals and 10+ assists, doing so in fewer appearances and minutes played than any other player to achieve the feat. Omission. pic.twitter.com/r3CGGfVqv4
- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 4, 2018
33 - @LeroySane19 was involved in 33 goals in competitive games 2017-18 (14 goals, 19 assists) - more than any other German player in the big 5 European leagues. Insane. pic.twitter.com/vjcEvGz3Px
- OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) June 4, 2018
In total, he notched 14 in all competitions and registered 19 assists - excellent numbers that saw him rightly recognised as one of the best performers in world football.
With his electric speed, rapid change of direction and supreme dribbling ability, Sane is an incredible attacking outlet who can decide games on his own.
As football coach Max Bergmann pointed out, Germany have persisted with him in central areas when he is the very definition of an old-fashioned, touchline-hugging wideman.
The reason why Leroy #Sané is struggling so much in matches for the national team is his role which pushes him into central areas.
Since there is pressure applied from every side, you need:
• good pre-orientation
• tight ball control
which he lacks...#AUTGER #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/eWvjJbaGu6
- Max Bergmann (@MaxBergmnn) June 2, 2018
Even when he's not in the game not much, I lost count of the amount of times he slalomed past opposition players and came up with a game-defining moment last term. There aren't many better in 1v1 situations.
Clearly, having scored 12 in Germany in 2017/18, Brandt is a very good player. But the fact that Sane has been dropped is utterly baffling after the form he's been in.
You'd assume Pep Guardiola will have been on the phone to reassure him - and in a way it's positive for the Blues in the sense that City will get a fresh player with something to prove ahead of next season.
Yet something tells me that the decision to leave Sane out will come back to bite Low on his arse - not that he'll have any probably sniffing it anyway.