Sam Allardyce has expressed shock over Leroy Sane’s supposed fall down the pecking order at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola this season.
The 22-year-old Germany international was voted as the PFA Young Player of the Year last season after an impressive campaign in which he bagged 14 goals and 19 assists for Manchester City.
Regardless, the youngster was left out of Germany’s Russia 2018 World Cup squad. He has hardly played for the Citizens this season as he was not included in the squad for their last Premier League game against Newcastle United.
Reports suggested that Sane’s mentality was questioned by Germany team-mate Toni Kroos and this coincides with reports that he was dropped by Guardiola due to his poor attitude in training.
In a chat with Friday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, when asked about the situation, Sam Allardyce responded:
“I can’t understand, there must be something he had upset Pep with.
“There has to be a problem – not with his footballing talent, I don’t think there’s any doubt whatsoever about that – but something must have happened between him and Guardiola.
“To not go to the World Cup and for Raheem Sterling to come back, only have a week’s training and then play in the first game of the season – my alarm bells started ringing then.
“Having only been used a substitute late on and then not even being included in the squad at all last week, that says there’s something wrong between Sane and Pep at the moment.
“That shows the power of the manager, maybe in reverse of what’s happening at Manchester United with Paul Pogba, Pep is showing his power, that he is the manager and that he rules the roost, what he says goes.
“But, it is slightly concerning that you haven’t got such a talent on the field.”
Big Sam added: “We didn’t see any bad body language from Sane last season for Manchester City, did we?
“What happened to him in Germany was a massive shock across the world of football considering how good a season he had, so maybe he’s just come back a bit lethargic, a bit disappointed and upset. This might be the biggest setback he’s had in his life up to now, I don’t know.
“But as a manager, you would try to resolve the problem before you start leaving him out.
“If you can’t resolve the problem you punish him, and there’s nothing worse than being left out of the squad – not playing is the most punishing thing for a player.
“But I would have thought that you would try to resolve the problem as early as you possibly can to get that player back playing to his very best, as we all saw from him last season.”