Ilkay is upbeat
German sure Man City’s Sane with thrive
BY JOHN DOWNES / Ilkay Gundogan is confident that compatriot Leroy Sane will become a vital player for Manchester City once he has fully adapted to English football.
Sky Blues midfielder Gundogan, 26, has found adapting to his new surroundings easier than fellow Germany international Sane since they moved to the north west from Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, respectively, this summer.
The 20-year-old winger Sane has been provided with few opportunities to live up to his £42million price tag by Pep Guardiola, making just four starts in all competitions so far this campaign.
Gundogan, on the other hand, has made an immediate impact following his move, scoring an impressive five goals in 11 games from midfield.
However, Gelsenkirchen-born Gundogan has little doubt that Sane will eventually overcome his difficult start to life at the Etihad Stadium.
“It is only normal that Leroy is still finding his feet at Manchester City,” Gundogan told Kicker.
“I think Leroy has the character and personality to cope with this situation. He is confident and is well aware of his own qualities.
“You can see that he is still a bit shy, but he is still only 20. I went through a similar situation when I joined Dortmund from Nurnberg, so I know how he feels.
“He will do his own thing and he will do so here at Manchester City as well.
“I am giving him all the support he needs.’
City - who sit in third position in the Premier League table with 24 points from 11 games - next face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 19.
Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan celebrates his goal during their Uefa Champions League match against Barcelona on November 1. /REUTERS