Guardiola impressed by star but warns him City axe hovers

Leroy Sane’s return to form has earned glowing praise from Pep Guardiola – but the Manchester City boss has warned him his place in the side is far from guaranteed.

The reigning Young Player of the Year made headlines over the summer when he was controversially axed from Germany’s World Cup squad amid question marks over his attitude, though Die Mannschaft’s disappointing campaign looked to have made that decision look folly.

But the winger was also left out of the City side for the opening four matches of the season – an omission that appeared to jolt him as he has since returned to form and the side over the last three matches.

Now Guardiola has responded by warning the 22-year-old he cannot afford to rest on his laurels.

“He’s played really well in the last games, ” the City boss said. “Leroy was important, is important, will be important for us.

“But our profession is so demanding and every single day you have to do your best and in the last two or three games he was really good.

“I want all my players to be focused and when they do that there is no problem at all, when they don’t do that they know what happens.”

After helping City beat Brighton 2-0 and move to the top of the table, Sane is now preparing for the Champions League group game against Hoffenheim on Tuesday (note the early kick-off time), with the club needing a win to kickstart their campaign after the shock of losing at home to Lyon.

After their trip to Germany, City face the small matter of a clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

The winger’s struggles earlier this season brought comment from his Germany teammate Toni Kroos, who observed: “Sometimes you have the feeling with Leroy’s body language that it is all the same whether we win or lose. He has to improve his body language.

“He was fantastic for City last year but Pep has the same problem at the moment — he’s trying to get the best out of him so he can perform better.”


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