Sané is unrecognisable! Three insights from the Darmstadt game

Leroy Sane

FC Bayern win clearly at Darmstadt on the 26th Bundesliga matchday after falling behind. FCBinside provides three insights into the match.

Before the international break, Bayern were able to pick up another three points at the Stadion am Böllenfalltor and ultimately celebrated a clear 5-2 away winagainst the team at the bottom of the table after a surprising 1-0 deficit. The game provided the following insights.

1. Sané is unrecognisable

During the first half of the season, it was often said that Leroy Sané was playing his best season in a Bayern shirt. But for weeks now, the German international has been a shadow of his former self.

His performances on the pitch have been lacklustre, his numbers devastating: Sané scored his last goal almost six weeks ago with an assist in the 3-1 win over Mönchengladbach. His last goal in the Bundesliga was a brace in the first leg (!) against Darmstadt 98 almost five months ago. In the Champions League, the 28-year-old last scored on the first matchday of the preliminary round against Manchester United. In the first half of the season, however, Sané scored eight times and set up ten goals up to matchday 17.

Then came the break: Sané was substituted early six times in a row and was involved in just one goal in eleven games across all competitions in the second half of the season.

Sané was also taken off early in Darmstadt, where he was also unable to make a real impact.

At the moment, Sané is unrecognisable. The attacking player is also simply not fit, is constantly struggling with injuries and is playing in pain, as coach Thomas Tuchel has emphasised on several occasions.

Sané will not be able to play in the German national team’s upcoming international matches in France and against the Netherlands because he is suspended following his offence in the test against Austria.

Hopefully Sané can use this break to get back into shape. Munich will need Sané from the first half of the season for the upcoming challenges – such as the Champions League clash with FC Arsenal.

2. There are no limits for Musiala

Jamal Musiala was the best man on the pitch in Darmstadt. He scored two goals himself, set up Serge Gnabry’s strike beautifully and is always dangerous – Musiala is a joy to watch at the moment.

After the game, there was praise for the 21-year-old from all sides – even from the opposing team’s coach. „He will lead the team to the European Championship – if they don’t even become European champions with him,“ said Darmstadt coach Torsten Lieberknecht effusively.

His own coach Tuchel was also delighted with Musiala: „Wow. The light goes out for a moment. Jamal has been very decisive in recent weeks. We are always happy with him, his potential is outstanding.“

„Potential“ is the key word here. Whenever Musiala works his magic, he only seems to be hinting at what’s to come from him in the future. His potential seems limitless!

You can actually trust such a player to do anything in the future. That’s how future world footballers play. Musiala is a treasure. Not just for Bayern, not just for Germany, but for football itself.

Jamal Musiala
Photo: IMAGO

3. Zaragoza is (so far) a misunderstanding

One realisation came before the game in Darmstadt when it became apparent that Bryan Zaragoza was not even in the Bayern squad. This was not due to injury, there was simply no place for the new winter signing.

Twenty players can be named in a squad for a Bundesliga match, which means nine players for the bench. Bayern’s injury worries have eased, so for the first time this season nine licensed players were able to take their place on the bench. That was the case in Darmstadt: Sven Ulreich, Dayot Upamecano, Minjae Kim, Alphonso Davies, Sacha Boey, Konrad Laimer, Serge Gnabry, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Mathys Tel.

That’s why Tuchel cancelled whoever he thought was most expendable – and that was Zaragoza. The Spaniard is in a difficult situation at FCB.

Zaragoza was brought in earlier this winter to give Bayern more options in attack following the injuries to Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman. But so far, the 22-year-old has only made brief appearances as a gesture of mercy. He is not actually needed.

Tuchel also justified this with problems with integration, Zaragoza speaks no German and not even a lick of English. This will continue to be difficult for the Spanish international in the future.

Coman is also expected to return after the international break. It is quite possible that Zaragoza will also be absent from the squad more often in the future. So far at least, this winter deal has been a misunderstanding for both sides.

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