Incoming Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn has defended Leroy Sane’s slow start to life in the Bundesliga.
Sane moved from Manchester City to Bayern in the summer, but has struggled to adjust in Germany. There’s no doubt that the 24-year-old is a top player, and one of the best on his day, but recent events seem to suggest otherwise.
Last weekend, Sane replaced the injured Kingsley Coman in the 32nd minute against Bayer Leverkusen, but was hauled off by Hansi Flick midway through the second half. When asked about the action after the game, the manager explained that it was all about performance.
“When we make substitutions, we have to do it sensibly,” Flick said. “If you see the second half, Thomas Muller is indispensable, Serge Gnabry improved in the second half, that’s why I substituted Leroy Sane. We had to react like that because there was no other option.”
And Kahn has jumped to Sane’s defence, reflecting back on his career, and drawing comparisons with Franck Ribery and Luca Toni.
“I can still remember when Franck Ribéry and Luca Toni moved to Bayern in 2007,” Kahn said. “At the time I said: ‘We’re not here with Florence or Marseille, but with FC Bayern!’ It is a huge stage. The fact that a player needs time to understand FC Bayern remains unchanged for me.
“I’ve known FC Bayern for a long time and I know that new players need time to fully arrive — especially since Leroy came to us from a serious injury.
“His qualities are outstanding, so we expect a lot from him. He scored goals that you don’t see in other players.”
Kahn takes over as Bayern CEO on January 1, 2021, after Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s contract expires on December 31, 2020.