Manchester City were far from their scintillating best on Sunday afternoon but even a mediocre performance was enough to ensure a 3-0 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium, a game which Leroy Sane starred in for the visitors.
Sane has attracted plenty of media interest in the past twelve months following an electric 2017/18 campaign, a subsequent and bizarre snub from the Germany World Cup squad and an unconvincing opening to the 2018/19 campaign but, despite his inconsistencies in the game, there is no doubting his incredible talent.
It would be grossly unjust to describe Sane as a luxury player, but it’s fair to say that he possesses that rare ability to transform a fixture in the blinking of an eye even when he is struggling for rhythm.
His showing against Liverpool at the beginning of January was littered with basic errors and disappointing moments of wastefulness, but when it mattered most he found an inch perfect strike to squeeze the ball in off the post to seal a priceless victory.
The 23-year-old speedster has been rewarded with two more starts since the clash with Liverpool, with an assist against Wolves preceding his game-changing second half display against Huddersfield in which he provided a delightful assist for Raheem Sterling before killing the game with a cute finish.
Sane’s impact managed to dig City out of a disappointing period of play for the title contenders, and the quality of his performance earned him a glowing review from Sky Sports pundit Alex Scott.
“He is huge for City – he can change a game in a flash.
“Pep knows he has to keep working on him, keep pushing him as he knows he’s not the finished article. He still needs work and he’s under the guidance of a great manager.”
Guardiola’s insistence on pushing Sane to the next level has paid dividends so far. His decision to leave Sane out of the squad earlier in the season was greeted with huge concern among the City supporters, but it seems that the Spaniard’s man-management has instigated further improvement in a player who already boasts a return of eight goals and ten assists in the Premier League this season.
Whether he is turning provider, finding the back of the net or simply terrorising the opposition with his devastating speed and agility in possession of the ball, Sane is a genuine game-changer for City and he fully deserves Scott’s glowing review in light of another clinical performance.
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