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Leroy Sane’s move to Manchester City was never going to be easy. He took himself out of his comfortable surroundings at Schalke, where he had spent five years, and moved to England to play under one of the most demanding managers in the game at a Club with a desire to win silverware.
Sane's first few months saw him in and out of the side, feeling his way into Pep Guardiola’s plans. But then, in December, he produced a superb display in the win over Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium and suddenly became a regular in the side.
By the end of the season, Sane had established a reputation as one of Europe’s finest young attacking talents.
He’s an old-fashioned winger, one who hugs the touchline and looks to beat his man every time he picks up the ball. He has searing pace and great trickery and oozes confidence on the ball. It’s a wonderful combination of attributes that have combined to produce arguably the most exciting player in the Premier League.
Having failed to score in the opening months of the season, his first-time finish against Arsenal at the Etihad signalled a deluge. He ended the season with nine and assisted a further five in all competitions. He isn’t just thrilling to watch – there’s consistent end product, too.
In the Premier League, he made 26 appearances, scored five goals, hit the woodwork twice, created 35 chances for his teammates and completed 81 per cent of his passes. For a 21-year-old playing in his debut campaign, those are excellent figures.
Some of his best bits are well worth remembering. His surge down the left away at West Ham that saw him skin two Hammers defenders before squaring for David Silva to score was devastating, and his fine finish that gave Jordan Pickford no chance in the win at Sunderland demonstrated his calmness under pressure.
Sane is a special player and watching him progress could be one of the most fascinating subplots of the coming years at City.
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Although the 2016/17 campaign did not end with silverware, the England star acknowledged progression, with the Blues showcasing glimpses of scintillating attacking football and beautifully-crafted goals.