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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Leroy Sane Q&A: On Pep Guardiola, Man City's Champions League hopes and Kevin de Bruyne being a Ballon d'Or contender

The German forward spoke with reporters during a training session at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi

Manchester City's  Leroy Sane has spoken of the influence Pep Guardiola has of Manchester City during a training session in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Manchester City's Leroy Sane has spoken of the influence Pep Guardiola has of Manchester City during a training session in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Leroy Sane has become a key component to Manchester City's success this season as the club chase Premier League and Champions League glory.

The German winger, 22, has scored 12 goals already - three more than his debut campaign and only one less than his entire time at former club Schalke.

Sane spoke to reporters at Emirates Palace hotel on Thursday night, as City enjoy a short warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi.

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On purposely trying to increase his prolificacy

“I didn’t have a special target. When I arrived I wanted to be settled in Manchester, to improve on my weaknesses and, with Pep Guardiola, I’m looking step-to-step. This season I’ve scored more goals than last season and then the next step would be really good for me if I could keep doing it for this season and then next season hopefully score more.”

On Pep Guardiola’s influence on younger players

“For me, he is the perfect coach. Because he sees where your weaknesses are, where you can improve, and he tries to teach it and make you better. Every young player likes playing for him, especially us now. All the players, all the team, can say ‘yeah, he’s made me better’ and this is really important for every player.”

On sometimes getting a hard time from his manager

“Yes, of course. From Day 1 until now, it doesn’t matter: even if I improved on a certain thing he always sees where there’s a weakness. If I make a mistake he says ‘hey, look, you have to do it like this’. He’s reminds you how to do it. This is really important, really good for the young players.”

On being a candidate for PFA Young Player of the Year

“To be honest, I haven’t thought about it at all. I’m not looking right now that I can win something for myself. Not at all. In some other interview I was asked if I’m thinking about the Ballon d’Or. It’s way too early, especially a trophy like this. It would be nice for me if I could reach it in future, but not now.”

On Kevin De Bruyne being in the Ballon d’Or conversation

“He’s a really special player, an unbelievable player. The way he plays, how he shoots, how he passes the ball. It’s really nice to see it. Even in the games in training, I’m like ‘OK, how did he pass the ball right now? How did he do that?’ He has a really good chance to achieve it. I hope he will do it.”

On the team’s Champions League chances

“We're a real strong team and we understand Pep Guardiola’s philosophy, have improved a lot and know what he wants from us. The Champions League is a really tough tournament and every single game is really special and difficult. But we have a good chance to come to the final and win the Champions League. But it will be really difficult.”

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