Football News

Pep Guardiola: Leroy Sané is among the world’s best at one key skill

By Chris Smith

Published: 15:57, 14 April 2019

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Leroy Sane is “one of the best in the world” when running behind a defence.

The Germany international has been in and out of the City starting XI this season and only managed to get on in the 89th minute of the recent 1-0 defeat to Spurs in the Champions League, but returned to the side for today’s 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace.

Sane one of the world’s best? Five key things to know…

  1. Sane joined Man City from Schalke in 2016 for £37m.
  2. To date, he has 38 goals and 45 assists in 127 games for the club.
  3. This season, the German has been used as a substitute 11 times by Guardiola.
  4. The 23-year-old has still managed 29 direct goal involvements so far this term.
  5. Guardiola believes Sane is one of the world’s best at running behind a defence.

Guardiola has previously spoken of his admiration for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, leading to speculation linking City with a move for the Ivorian – plus suggestions that Sane could learn a thing or two from his counterpart.

This has been dismissed by Guardiola, though, who very much believes the two are totally different types of players.

“I think they are completely different types of players,” he told reporters. “Zaha is good receiving the ball here [into the body] and Leroy’s runs in behind are incredible – maybe one of the best in the world making the runs in behind.

“Both play in similar positions but their skills are different.”

Sane vindicated his return to Man City’s team at Selhurst Park, notching an assist for Raheem Sterling’s second goal to take his tally for the campaign to double figures.

Guardiola: I’ll never emulate Hodgson

City secured a comfortable victory over Crystal Palace this afternoon to return to the top of the Premier League table – for a few hours at least.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson is the oldest man to manage a team in the Premier League and is still going strong at 71.

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However, when asked if he could emulate Hodgson’s longevity, Guardiola outright dismissed it.

“In my case? No way. It’s impossible. Roy Hodgson loves it, it’s incredible. When that happens, it’s because he has the passion in himself,” the 48-year-old said.

“I am curious to do other things before I die. I love my job, but I am always thinking to do something different. There is my wife and family too. 71? No way.

“You have to have a special energy and I think at 71 – except Roy Hodgson – the others cannot do it.

“No. I am 48, so 71? It’s many years [away]. I don’t think like that and I don’t have plans. I learn that life is decided most of the time.

“I will do other things. I’m curious to see, not all my time will be on the bench. My 10 seasons have been stressful, demanding, incredible.

“I couldn’t expect in my dreams how good it has been and there will be a few more years. I want to experience something else but not [wait] until [I’m] 71.”