Pep Guardiola has kickstarted his Manchester City project this summer by bringing in some top players like Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito. His latest signing may not be a player that most Premier League fans rate highly, but Leroy Sane could well be moulded into a dangerous attacker by the Catalan mastermind.
Manchester City have completed the signing of Leroy Sane from Bundesliga club Schalke as Pep Guardiola’s third major signing of the summer. The 20-year-old winger had been strongly linked with Man City for the past month, and the club finally put the finishing touches to the deal just before Die Knappen embarked on their pre-season tour of Austria.
Sane is set to compete for a place in the Man City starting XI with established names like Jesus Navas, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling. There is a lot of hype surrounding the youngster, but he remains an unknown element till the beginning of the season.
The former Schalke player is yet to play a Premier League game, but ere are three things you need to know about the latest big signing by Manchester City.
1. Sane could become the most expensive German player of all time
The German winger has signed a five-year deal with Man City for a transfer fee reported to be £37 million. The figure is slightly short of the world record for transfer fees paid for a German player. Arsenal paid Real Madrid £42.5 million in 2013 for Mesut Ozil, who is currently the most expensive German signing in the world.
However ESPN report that the deal for Sane has performance related add-ons that could take the fee to £46.5 million. If the 20-year-old winger fulfills the conditions laid out in the contract, then he could overtake his senior International teammate and become the most expensive German player of all time.
Manchester City’s signing of Leroy Sane continues the trend of Premier League clubs spending huge money on young talent. Last summer, the Citizens bought Raheem Sterling from Liverpool for £49 million, while cross-town rivals Manchester United bought Anthony Martial from AS Monaco for £36 million.
2. The youngster was nurtured in one of the best academies in Europe
Most football fans are familiar with La Masia, Barcelonas fabled youth academy that has produced some of the best footballers in the world including Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. However not many would be aware of La Masia’s German equivalent Knappenschmeide, the Schalke youth academy from which new Man City signing Leroy Sane has emerged.
The Schalke academy has produced a number of Mannschaft legends including Jens Lehmann, Olaf Thon, Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer, as well as up and coming talents like Max Meyer and Julian Draxler.
Sane has been at the Schalke academy since 2005, albeit spending three years from 2008 to 2011 at Bayer Leverkusen. He broke into the first team in 2014 and has scored 13 goals in his 57 appearances for Schalke.
3. Football is in Leroy Sane’s genes
Leroy is the son of former Senegalese striker Souleyman Sane, who represented Senegal from 1990-1997. Souleyman went against the wishes of his parents and embarked on a career as a footballer in the early 1980’s and went on to join 2. Bundesliga side SC Freiburg in 1985. His 56 goal haul in three seasons at the club prompted the top-tier to come calling. Souleyman went on to play for FC Neurnberg and SG Wattenscheid in the West German Bundesliga, scoring 51 goals in 174 appearances.
Souleyman went on to get German citizenship and all three of his sons joined the Schalke academy. His second son Leroy has now climbed through the ranks at the Ruhr side club and secured a huge move to the Premier League-elite with Manchester City.