Leroy Sane will be out for six or seven months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
Sane was forced off during the Community Shield victory over Liverpool last Saturday and will undergo surgery next week, ruling him out for the majority of the season.
How much will Leroy Sane’s absence impact Man City? Five things to know…
- Sane signed for City in 2016 for £45 million.
- The former Schalke winger started just 21 of City’s 38 league games last season.
- But he registered 10 goals and 11 assists in the top flight.
- He has provided more Premier League assists (25) than any other player since the start of the 2017-18 season.
- And Sane scored the crucial winner in City’s decisive clash vs. Liverpool in January.
“It is incredibly bad news,” Guardiola told reporters while previewing Man City vs West Ham.
“I don’t know. Normally, with this kind of injury – it’s six or seven months. Hopefully, in February or March, he will come back with us.”
Referring to similar injuries suffered by Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan, the Spanish coach, 48, added: “It’s bad news as in three seasons we’ve had three ACLs. [Sane] is young and he will recover well hopefully in terms of the surgery next week. All the people will help him, he will feel alone and we help him to feel as comfortable as possible.
“He’s in the best hands possible. We will see next week. All the people here will try and help him be comfortable. For one or two months, he will feel alone. We will be with him as much as possible.
“We have a plan [to cope]. Previously, we didn’t have Ilkay Gundogan or Benjamin Mendy and we played with Fabian Delph or Oleks Zinchenko and they did incredibly well. We will let him know we are here and we’ll be with him.”
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“Sane is our player”
Sane was heavily linked with a move away from Manchester this summer. Not many clubs could afford to leave a player of Sane’s immense talent on the bench but City can: as a result, the German spent spells on the bench last season despite registering 10 goals and 15 assists in 2017/18.
Bayern Munich publicly expressed interest in the winger on more than one occasion as rumours flew around that the 23-year-old was keen on moving away from the Etihad. Guardiola, however, says he never feared Sane would leave.
He said: “I didn’t think about him leaving. Always I said he’s our player and he didn’t tell me he wanted to leave, always I thought he was ours. In the final, he played.”
City travel to play West Ham in Saturday’s early kick-off. The London Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the North West club under Guardiola. In their last four visits combined, the reigning Premier League champions have scored 17 goals and conceded just one.