KEIR RADNEDGE in MUNICH: Toni Kroos has stepped into the Leroy Sane in questioning the Germany and Manchester City’s sense of motivation.
Sane enjoyed a fine season with the Premier League champions in England last term but was then omitted surprisingly by Germany coach Joachim Low from the 2014 World Cup winners ultimately disastrous defence of their crown in Russia in June and July.
His name does not feature in Germany’s squad for their Nations League opener against new champions France in Munich’s Allianz Arena, nor has he found starting line-up favour yet this season with City manager Pep Guardiola.
Speculation about the 22-year-old from Essen has focused, both with Germany and City, with his attitude and Kroos, the Real Madrid playmaker who was probably his country’s finest player at the World Cup, has effectively confirmed that.
Kroos said: “Sometimes you have the feeling with his body language that it is all the same whether we win or lose. He has to improve his body language.
“Also sometimes you have to tell him he has to perform better and improve a bit. You have to find a way to push him to a better performance level.
“What is crystal clear is we need a player with the quality he has. We don’t have another player like him. He played a fantastic season with City last year but sometimes it seems Pep Guardiola has the same problem at the moment and that’s why he put him out of the squad so he can be motivated to perform better.
“When he plays well he is a real weapon.”