In what will come as a surprise decision to many, Leroy Sane of the Premier League champions Manchester City has been left out of the 23-man Germany squad travelling to Russia for the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Sane has just come off a fantastic season, rounded off by a record-breaking campaign from Manchester City who finished with a hundred points in the Premier League.
Sane in particular has been very instrumental for the Citizens, scoring 14 goals and providing 19 assists across all competitions for Manchester City. His performances saw him win the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the 2017-18 season, only his second season at the Etihad Stadium.
Alongside Sane, Bernd Leno and Jonathan Tah from Bayer Leverkusen and Nils Petersen of SC Freiburg have also been omitted by Joachim Loew, who will look to win consecutive World Cup titles, a feat only achieved by Italy and Brazil football teams.
Sane was expected to be on the flight for Russia, as was Leno who was dropped for PSG shot-stopper Kevin Trapp, who has barely featured for the Les Parisiens.
Instead of Sane, Loew has opted for the highly-rated Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen. The German manager said, “You have to look at the bigger picture so we have a variable and well-balanced team prepared for all eventualities. We have good players on the wing in Thomas Muller and Marco Reus. Julian Draxler played a good Confederations Cup and made progress there.
“It was a tight race between Leroy Sane and Julian Brandt. Both have big qualities, both are good in the one-on-one duels. Julian Brandt was at the Confed Cup, had some strong games there, and put in good shifts in the training camp too. Leroy Sane is a huge talent, no doubt, and he will be back with the team in September.”
Sane will be ruing his missed chance at the FIFA Confederations Cup, which he decided to sit out and have a corrective surgery for his chronic nasal congestion, while his competitors Julian Brandt and Julian Draxler largely impressed in the preparatory tournament in Russia.
Sane has 12 caps for Germany but has yet to impress for the Die Mannschaft having just provided one assist. His performance with the German national team was summed up by the disappointing loss against Austria on Saturday in an international friendly, as he was arguably the worst player on the pitch.
Several players expressed their surprise over Sane’s exclusion, including his club teammate Kyle Walker who posted a tweet expressing his disbelief. But Sane seems to have taken it pretty well, as he came up with a reply saying that Walker will be spared from the terror of facing him if England were to be drawn against Germany.