Pep Guardiola has a vast array of riches at his disposal and often some terrific players cannot do more than settle for a place on the bench at Manchester City.
He kept bemoaning about finding it difficult to leave these many stars on the bench and so his comments about the German prodigy, Leroy Sane, came out of the blue.
The winger scored a brace against Liverpool and followed it up with another match-winning brace against West Brom in the Carabao Cup. He also scored against Crystal Palace in the next outing in the Premier League when City’s coach declared that he had ‘not deserved to play’ earlier in the campaign.
“He didn’t arrive well. He didn’t make a good pre-season, he was not good in those games and he didn’t deserve to play.”
The German now looks almost irreplaceable especially with Aguero out injured.
So how did he turn Pep’s opinion in such a short period? Not worrying about it was the first step key to the comeback.
“I am just quite laid-back,” he told dfb.de.
“I don’t think about it too much, I’m not the type of person to berate myself or constantly ponder about why it’s not going well for me at the time.
“I take care in those situations to do the simple things properly and to concentrate on my game. You need to take care the pressure doesn’t become too great when you’re a young player.”
Guardiola has spoken about Sane getting better at doing simple things, and wants full concentration and thought for the whole game to avoid silly mistakes.
One simple improvement from the summer that can aid everything in Sane’s game has been his nose job.
Despite finishing last season strongly with the Blues, the former Schalke star revealed he had been struggling for most of the year with breathing problems.
He eventually decided to give the Confederations Cup a skip, a competition which Germany went on to win in order to carry out the surgery.
“I had had quite a few breathing problems for the year up to the tournament. [The operation] had to be done in England under a general anaesthetic.
“I feel a lot better breathing now and can recover a lot more quickly after a sprint.”
“The quality within the national team is huge and many people are fighting for the same position.
“Lots of players also proved their worth during the Confederations Cup in the summer. That’s quite a positive thing for me.
“Every player has to be motivated to prove themselves even more during the games. You have to use the game time that you get.”