September 20, 2021

Bayern star Sane only ’80 per cent fit’ as he reflects on ‘tough’ year

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The forward has been looking back at the past 12 months that brought a serious knee injury, a global pandemic and a multi-million pound transfer

Bayern Munich winger Leroy Sane says he is still some way from full fitness after admitting he has endured a “tough year”.

The former Manchester City star has played just 24 minutes of competitive action in the last 12 months after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the opening stages of the 2019 Community Shield against Liverpool at Wembley.

He was on the verge of making a comeback when the Premier League was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic in March, meaning he did not pull on a sky blue shirt again until June, when he came on as a late substitute against Burnley in City’s first match of the restart.

Three days before that game City boss Pep Guardiola confirmed Sane had rejected the offer of a new deal at the Etihad Stadium, meaning an exit was almost inevitable.

It was therefore no surprise when Sane completed a move to Bayern a short while later in a deal worth an initial €49m (£45m/$55m), putting pen to paper on a five-year deal with the Bundesliga giants.

The former Schalke forward admits he has found it difficult over the last 12 months, but feels he has emerged as a better player and person for the experience.

“First there was the cruciate ligament rupture, then the corona situation and, in the end, the move to Bayern Munich. It was a tough year, but a very, very good one to get to know me better personally,” he told the official DFB website.

When asked about his fitness, Sane added: “I think I’m at 80 per cent. Clearly the games and the rhythm are missing, the last per cent will be added (once he gets playing regularly again).”

The winger has now linked up with the Germany squad for their Nations League ties against Spain and Switzerland.

It is 15 months since Sane earned the last of his 21 caps for Die Mannschaft, in an 8-0 victory against Estonia in qualifying for Euro 2020, so the 24-year-old is excited at the prospect of pulling on the white shirt once more.

“Everyone is happy to come together again and play for the national team,” he said.

After international duty, Sane will return to Bayern where he could make his competitive debut against his former club Schalke on the opening day of the new Bundesliga campaign on September 18.