Low admitted dropping the reigning Premier League young player of the year was an extremely difficult call to make, but his explanation did offer some clarity on the situation. “That was a very close decision between him and Julian Brandt, which was made in favor of Brandt. Draxler, Reus and Muller are set,” he explained.
“Leroy is a huge talent. He will be back again from September. He had not arrived in international matches yet. It was a very close decision. If it was a 100 metre race, it would have been a photo finish.”
Criticism unsurprisingly flew in for the World Cup winning manager, but the fact that Sane struggles to play in the half spaces and in more infield positions than he does for Manchester City, where he plays out wide, was definitely a concern. Not as adept as the aforementioned players at adjusting his body position to receive in said areas and combining slickly in close quarters, the role Low asked him to play didn’t entirely suit him.
Moreover, the fact he’s not exposed to being pressed from as many different angles when he plays for City, like he is for the national team, certainly didn’t help his chances either.
When speaking about his exclusion, a clearly devastated Sane, who’s yet to score a goal in his 12 internationals, handled the situation with class. “I’m obviously disappointed I won’t participate in the World Cup,” he stated. “But I have to accept this decision and I’ll give it my all to bounce back stronger.”
“Nothing but the best of success to the DFB team in Russia. Go get that title.”
The marvelously gifted attacker still has a chance of going to the summer showpiece if an injury occurs, but at this stage he’ll have to be content watching as a fan.
All things considered, Low’s decision, while harsh, was made for the overall benefit of the team, with him opting to pick players that best suit his system over individual quality in this case.
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