Pep Guardiola has revealed the reason he “likes to be critical” of Leroy Sane is so that the Manchester City winger becomes more consistent.
Sane has been in and out of the team this season but made the difference from the bench with a goal against Manchester United on Wednesday night.
What has Sane been criticised for in the past? Five key things to know…
- Sane was named the Premier League’s Young Player of the Year last season but was then surprisingly left out of Germany’s World Cup squad.
- His Germany teammate Toni Kroos criticised Sane’s body language during an international break last September.
- Guardiola subsequently leapt to his defence, talking up his credentials as a promising young player.
- But the City boss reportedly also harboured concerns about Sane’s attitude at the time.
- Last October, Sane said criticism from “great” managers like Guardiola “delights” him.
The German’s goal gave City breathing room against United at Old Trafford; the Champions held onto their 2-0 lead to return to the top of the Premier League.
And Guardiola heaped praise on Sane’s impact before revealing why he is often critical of the 23-year-old, who has provided 10 Premier League assists this term – only Raheem Sterling has recorded as many for City.
“At half-time Fernandinho had little muscular problems in both legs,” Guardiola said, via Goal. “I thought to put Leroy in maybe later but the way he came in was incredible.
“In that position he made our game quicker. Leroy attacking the byline is a special player.
“I am so demanding of him and sometimes I like to be critical of him.
“We know his potential and we want to help him to be more consistent in his game.
“Not just in his actions with the ball, without too, and today he was so good and played at a high level.”
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Guardiola: Man City “fortunate” ahead of last three games
Manchester City will be crowned champions if they win their final three matches, regardless of what title rivals Liverpool do.
Guardiola’s men face Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton before an FA Cup final against Watford, and the Spaniard insists his side are fortunate to have the title race in their hands.
He added: “It’s in our hands. Three games. We won the last 11, 18 of 19. It is incredible what these players have done so far but still we have a job to do.
“If that victory happens in November and December, we can enjoy it more. Maybe tonight you can enjoy it but it’s over, it’s gone.
“You have to be focused. I know the people are going to talk about how beautiful and handsome we are, but now we have to go to Burnley and Burnley is always a tough, tough game to play.
“But we are fortunate that it is in our hands. Win three games and are champions.”