The transfer saga of Leroy Sané to Bayern Munich from Manchester City came to an end on July 3 as the German winger joined the Bavarian giants.
A move which would benefit a former team mate of Sane.
For an initial fee of about £44.7m, with add-ons which could increase by more than £10m, the Sané deal is decent. But, there is no room for bemoaning his imminent departure as Riyad Mahrez has already shown he will make the most of the situation.
Sané, after an indifferent start at Man City, became a key part of their centurion-point-making campaign. He netted 14 goals and 19 assists as they clinched the Premier League title and League Cup in style.
The 24-year old also helped Pep Guardiola’s side to an unprecedented annexation of all three major English honours (Premier League title, FA Cup and League Cup) in the 2018/19 season.
Unfortunately, Sane has been unable to replicate his scintillating form this season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament damage to his right knee against Liverpool during the Community Shield match in August.
Fully recovered now, he will return to his homeland to feature for Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich. However, does this move leave a void in the Manchester City attack?
Algerian international Mahrez has found himself in and out of the starting lineup since joining the Citizens in July 2018, despite being decent performance-wise.
If there is a time of making a position his own, the time is now.
Mahrez arrived as a proven Premier League player and winner, a winger who had already shown he could terrorise defenders and change matches on his own.
As compared to other City wide players like Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling, the 29 year old is naturally a right winger from his days at Le Havre in France. He’s done so at Leicester City and for the Algeria national team, who he powered to an AFCON trophy last year.
Sterling is a left winger who operated on the right flank due to the brilliance of Leroy Sané. After the injury to the latter this season, Sterling was re-deployed to his favourite role on the left with Bernardo and Mahrez sharing the right wing spot.
For the past year, Bernardo has proven to be a carbon copy and a replacement for namesake, David, who is out of contract this summer.
Bernardo has played in more central positions as a number eight, and slightly deeper, alongside Fernandinho in the 2018/19 campaign and offered his nimble footwork and industrious attributes once given a chance.
With Englishman Sterling on the left, Portuguese Bernardo behind first choice striker Aguero and Mahrez on the right, Man City will have a fearsome trio. The African Cup of Nations winner is a wonderful outlet on the right, providing more directness with an ilk of Arjen Robben-like runs. His top corner or bottom bending finishes aren’t too shabby either.
He put up incredible performances in Leicester City’s startling title triumph in 2016, netting 17 times whilst providing with 10 assists, which ultimately landed him the PFA Player of the Year Award.
Narrowing down this season on the right flank, Mahrez has been directly involved in 24 goals (12 goals, 12 assists) in 44 appearances.
At the AFCON 2019 in Egypt, the Algerian captain, who led his country to glory scored three goals in six starts, the most notable amongst them being a stunning freekick against Nigeria in the semi-finals.
Sané will be missed, but not for long.
It is only a matter of time for Mahrez to blossom more than he even has in the shirt of the Sky Blues.