One of German football's most mercurial talents cannot stay out of the headlines, even if he remained on German national team trainer Hansi Flick's bench last night.
German footballing media outlets seized upon the chance to talk about Leroy Sané (yet again) after comments from DFB director Oliver Bierhoff on Sunday.
|Oliver Bierhoff.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
There was much to criticize following the German Nationalmannschaft's rather languid 1-1 draw with Hungary in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday evening. After German press observers were done singling out David Raum, Thilo Kehrer, Leon Goretzka, Kai Havertz, and Timo Werner, attention shifted to an actor utilized neither in the starting XI nor as a substitute.
Leroy Sané stay as an observer for the full 90 minutes. Once again, those charged with managing the 26-year-old's national team career were put on the defensive. Discussing Sané's non-use the day after, DFB boss Oliver Bierhoff first wished to express how many read the former Man City attacker improperly.
"With Leroy, you can't over-interpret his body language," Bierhoff explained, "That's just his style. But what remains important, and he knows this, is that he must perform despite that body language."
"It's not an easy situation for him," Bierhoff continued, "We are helping him, but of course he must also help himself. In the final analysis, you have to fight your way back as a player."
Sané's estimated market worth has fallen by €40 million since he returned to his home country nearly two years ago. He's dealt with low production numbers, the "ultimate humiliation" of being both subbed on and subbed off in the same match under two different Bayern trainers, and even what feels like more than his fair share of jeers and whistles from his hometown crowd.
Young phenom Jamal Musiala--a creative speedster who could be working opposite Sané--now threatens to take his place for both club and country. Bundestrainer Flick has been (at least publicly) unwavering in his support for his former club player. In his comments on Sunday, Bierhoff explained that there were limits to Flick's posture.
"Hansi is very communicative, very uplifting, and always tries to win the players over," Bierhoff noted, "But at some point you also have to say, that's it now and call upon the player to make something out of it. Every observer pulls their hair out when [scoring] chances aren't taken."