Sane’s Shock Omission Only Highlights the Depth Germany Have
The World Cup squads are in and the biggest surprise only served to reinforce the strength in depth that defending champions Germany possess.
Germany coach Joachim Low confirmed his 23-man squad on Monday, and there were one or two respected pundits left open mouthed when it was confirmed that Leroy Sane had been left at home.
Sane appeared a shoo-in for a place in Low’s 23 on the back of his exploits for Manchester City in the 2017/18 season which earned him the PFA’s Young Player of the Year award.
There will be Premier League full-backs who were left chasing Sane’s shadow wondering how he’s not made the trip to Russia, but so far in his fledgling career the 22-year-old has not replicated his club form on the international stage.
In City’s romp to the Premier League title last term, Sane hit 10 goals and laid on 15 assists. That is in stark contrast to his form on the international stage, as he is yet to score and has only one assist to his name from 12 appearances.
Sane was handed an audition in the friendly with Brazil in March, but he served up an underwhelming display and that clearly prompted Low to overlook the City man.
Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen was given the nod in Sane’s stead and while he is not as explosive and exciting in attack as Sane, he offers greater defensive acumen – and that is something Low holds in high regard.
In all probability Brandt will be a fringe player in Russia this summer, as would have been the case with Sane, as Germany are extremely well stocked in terms of options for the left-hand side of midfield.
Timo Werner will lead the line for Germany, flanked by Marco Reus and Thomas Muller. With Julian Draxler and the versatile Brandt as cover for Reus, it is understandable why Sane has missed out.
Explaining his thought process, via the Guardian, Low said: “You have to look at the big 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 Confed 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.”
With it coming as a shock, there will be scrutiny on Low to ensure Germany go deep into the competition.
What it also means is that Germany are filled with quality, is a huge shot across the bows of the other major contenders – and is also the season why they are second favourites behind Brazil at 5.70 with 188BET.
Germany open their World Cup campaign against Mexico on June 17, before games against Sweden and South Korea.
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