Our series of articles on Fantasy Premier League assets who are nearing a return to fitness this time looks at Leroy Sane (£9.3m).
The Manchester City winger hasn’t played a single minute of Premier League football this season, having suffered a knee injury back in August 2019.
Speculation continues to surround his future, meanwhile, with a move to Bayern Munich having been mooted for some time.
Out of contract in the summer of 2021, it could be that City seek to recoup some or all of the £37m they originally spent on the winger before his deal expires.
The reigning champions still have ten leagues matches of this season to go, of course, so Sane could well have some part to play in FPL before a possible departure for pastures new.
How much of a contribution he will make is another matter, given the uncertainty of his future and the fact that he hasn’t played a competitive match (if we discount the Community Shield) in over a year.
WHAT IS SANE’S FITNESS LATEST?
It was, indeed, during the Community Shield victory over Liverpool last August that Sane sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage.
The Germany international lasted only 10 minutes of the match at Wembley before falling awkwardly under a challenge from Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.8m), being substituted soon after.
After undergoing surgery on his right knee, Sane’s recovery had progressed well enough for him to be back involved in training in January.
Guardiola has thereafter been cautious with his winger, who didn’t feature at all for the first team before the COVID-19 outbreak halted proceedings in mid-March.
Speaking in February, Guardiola said of Sane’s fitness:
He’s started to train with us, he is still not there. When you have an injury, especially this one for six months, you don’t train for one week and then you immediately you are there. you need to recover, tempo, rhythm, confidence in your knee, don’t think about the injury.
He needs time, it’s not a case of him training and he will then immediately be there, it’s not like an ankle or a muscular injury. This injury, it needs time.
He needs weeks, what’s important is the surgery was perfect and he’s recovering incredibly well, he’ll come back stronger than before but now he needs a little bit time.
Sane did get a run-out for the under-23s at the very end of February, however, lasting 57 minutes of a match against Arsenal’s young-guns.
Shortly before the Manchester derby in Gameweek 29, the City boss added:
He is making big progress but still, he’s not 100% fit. He has to be ready and fit to play official games right now. Maybe that will be good [more under-23s games]. I think weeks and games will be good.
He will feel it first himself because every week he is getting better and after I will try to give him minutes to get back as soon as possible.
Time is something Sane has had plenty of since those quotes from his manager, although reserve games not so.
That said, the fact that the rest of the Citizens’ squad will also have been without a competitive match for three months may level the playing field somewhat.
A day before this article went out (Saturday 30 May), Sane was pictured in full-contact training with his teammates.
WHOSE PLACE WILL HE TAKE?
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