Leroy Sané continues to puzzle fans and experts. After the attacker finally found his top form last fall and became an indispensable part of the FC Bayern starting eleven, there was a massive drop in performance at the turn of the year.

In the second half of the season he scored just two goals in 15 league games and prepared two more. Not enough for Sané, who was signed by Manchester City two years ago for around 50 million euros to become a difference player with the German record champions.

The 26-year-old is still a long way from his normal form, as was shown once again on Saturday evening. Despite his weak second half of the season, the native of Essen was given the chance by national coach Hansi Flick to show himself in the classic against Italy from the start at the start of the Nations League. He couldn’t use them – on the contrary…

As in the past few months, Sané seemed strangely inhibited, repeatedly made unnecessary technical mistakes and made too many wrong decisions in the forward movement (AZ rating 5). With 39 ball contacts, he had the fewest of all DFB players from the starting XI, only 84 percent of his 25 passes were received by teammates. In the 58th minute, Sané had finished work again, and top talent Jamal Musiala came on for him.

When asked about his attacker’s once again sobering performance, Hansi Flick reacted evasively. “Those who have known me for a long time know that I don’t take anyone out here,” said Flick, who had repeatedly defended Sané during his disappointing debut season at Bayern. Flick continues: “For me, the entire team is always responsible. And I’m not taking out a single player.”

In any case, the DFB-Elf delivered a tame performance at times against the completely newly formed Italians in the hot and humid temperatures in Bologna and only really got going after Lorenzo Pellegrini had fallen behind in the 70th minute.

“Sure, if things don’t go the way you imagine, there’s a question mark for many,” Flick replied when asked whether some of his players would have to improve if they wanted to continue to be among the first eleven. Overall, the team’s performance against the European champions did not live up to their own standards.

Leroy Sané: Improbable starting XI for next classic against England

Nevertheless, Sané is likely to be one of the players who have to worry about another starting eleven in Munich against England. You will react in the coaching team if you think that one or the other will not be 100 percent by Tuesday. “We have a big squad. The squad is very good,” said Flick meaningfully.

Regardless of that, Sané will also have to improve if he wants to be part of the permanent staff at the Winter World Cup in Qatar. After all, there will no longer be too many opportunities to advertise on your own behalf. During this international match period, the three Nations League games against England, Hungary and the second leg against Italy are still pending. The final two internationals before the World Cup are scheduled for late September when the second legs against England and Hungary are due.

This article was written by Bernhard Lackner

First a shooting match, then usury: FC Bayern’s week is like a rollercoaster ride. Against Salzburg it goes like clockwork, in Hoffenheim the Munich team then fail primarily because of themselves. To the chagrin of coach Julian Nagelsmann.

FC Bayern actually delivered a decent game against TSG Hoffenheim, but the many missed chances cost them the win in the end. Julian Nagelsmann does not want to change the way the game is played, which is why the coach is particularly annoyed by one question.

The original of this article “Inhibited and without self-confidence: Bayern’s Leroy Sané is in the next form crisis” comes from the evening newspaper.