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Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller hope Bayern Munich will see the best of Leroy Sane next year after the winger was intermittently substituted against Bayer Leverkusen.
Sane has had a hard time since joining Bayern from Manchester City for a starting fee of € 49m in July, being restricted to just five Bundesliga starts.
He was once again named on the bench for Saturday’s trip to BayArena, but was introduced just after half an hour by the injured Kingsley Coman.
However, the German international lasted just 36 minutes on the field before being pulled by Jamal Musiala with the match on point at 1-1 and Bayern chasing a goal.
Sane grimaced in frustration as he returned to the bench, but head coach Hansi Flick felt he had no choice but to make the tough decision.
FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) December 19, 2020
“It was not a punishment,” he said at his post-match press conference. “I had to make a replacement, and the options were Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry or Leroy.
“Thomas is indispensable to our system, Serge really got into the game in the second half. So I had to subdue Leroy.
Ultimately, it’s about team success over people. We support Leroy in every way possible. “
Sané lost possession nine times, completed 15 of his 19 passes (78.9 percent) and conceded two fouls, more than any other Bayern player.
But Muller, who by comparison succeeded with 38 of his 52 passes (73.1 percent) and lost possession 20 times, the most for his team, jumped to his teammate’s defense.
“Hansi must have had his reasons,” Muller said of Sane’s withdrawal.
“Personally, I really enjoy playing with Leroy and I think we had more offensive moves on the right when he came in.
“I don’t think it will be that long until we start talking about Leroy in another way. It is very close to breaking through.
“He shouldn’t be frustrated by this, but motivated. It doesn’t make it easier for us to be struggling a bit as a team right now. ”
Sane creates an average of 0.7 great chances for every 90 minutes he plays in the Bundesliga this season, which is second only to Coman (1.07) among Bayern players who have played at least six times.
Meanwhile, only Douglas Costa (2.97) and Musiala (3.71) have completed more dribbles in 90 minutes than Sane’s 2.45, and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic is happy with the former City’s striker displays since he recovered from a layoff. dragged on.
– Robert Lewandowski (@lewy_official) December 19, 2020
“The guy is really a great player, he was injured for a long time,” he said. “He also wants more of himself.
“The team will help him. I’m confident and I totally believe in him. He has qualities that, hopefully, he will show us in the first game of the new year.”
Lewandowski scored two goals against Leverkusen, including a goal in the 93rd minute, after Patrik Schick had given the hosts the lead.
The Polish international, whose 17 goals after 13 Bundesliga games is a joint record along with Gerd Muller, also predicted a better future for Sane.
“He needs a little time,” Lewandowski said. “Next year I am sure it will show its quality. Fingers crossed for him, he’s a great guy.
“He himself knows that he can benefit from a short break and we will need it in the future.”
Bayern’s leaders have lost 1-0 in each of their last seven Bundesliga games, the longest streak in their history, but will take a two-point lead in the midseason break after their latest comeback.