By 90Min
August 25, 2018

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has given reasons for his starting of German star Leroy Sane on the bench this season.

The attacking ace played a huge role in City winning the Premier League title earlier this year, scoring 10 goals and dishing out 15 assists during the campaign. But he was strangely omitted from Joachim Low's World Cup squad - despite being named the PFA Young Player of the Year - and his return to the Etihad this summer has seen him dropped to the bench.

He failed to start Saturday's draw with Wolves, and only came on for a short period at the end of the game.


Guardiola, though, has denied having any issues with the 22-year-old and has offered an explanation for the player not starting matches so far this season.

"In the past two weeks in training I've seen the Leroy that I know and we know. I am delighted about that. You know about his performances in pre-season, he arrived late and now he is getting back like Leroy is," he said, via Goal.

"We have six excellent strikers and not all of them can play. It is not about he is not playing because we are unhappy with his performance, it's because we have to choose and now Mendy is playing more wide. That is the reason why.

"He is ready with his physical condition. He doesn't need much time to get in better condition, it is not about that."

The manager also insisted that the player has gotten over his World Cup snub and is now ready to play.

"He came back [to City] and I think he forgot about it," he continued. "I understand the disappointment of missing the World Cup - for young players it is an important issue. He came back, he was in the [United] States and made pre-season and stayed there and took a little bit more time to settle and now he is ready.

"When he doesn't play [it's not] because I am angry with him or do not trust his physical condition, quality, skills or what he can do for us or for himself.

"Sometimes you need more time when you arrive. In pre-season always the players are, 'Okay, we'll do it because it is pre-season.' But I have never complained about Leroy's behaviour in the training sessions or matches. What he did last season was so important."

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