Bayern stand by embattled Sane despite fans’ jeers
Bayern Munich has implored their fans to stop whistling winger Leroy Sane ahead of the Bundesliga champions’ home match against bottom club Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Bayern thrashed fifth-tier Bremer 12-0 in the German Cup on Wednesday with back-up striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scoring four goals, including a first-half hat-trick.
Despite setting up Choupo-Moting’s first two goals and scoring one himself at Bremer, Sane was the target of whistles from the travelling fans.
“He is sometimes accused of looking as if he is not bothered, but he was extremely committed,” said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann.
“A few people again whistled him, but the majority applauded.”
Bayern supporters have become increasingly frustrated by Sane’s inconsistent form.
The 25-year-old, who will be nervously awaiting Hansi Flick’s first Germany squad announcement on Friday, has often drifted out of matches since last year’s high-profile transfer from Manchester City.
He reportedly earns around 17 million euros ($20 million) per year at Bayern.
Sane was also jeered last weekend during the home win over Cologne after a wayward pass and was substituted at half-time.
He had already been subjected to whistles by disgruntled home fans during Germany’s Euro 2020 matches in Munich.
“It shouldn’t happen, this is when we expect our supporters to stand behind our players,” said Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.
“Of course, we are talking a lot to Leroy and trying to get him in top form.”
Striker Robert Lewandowski, midfielder Leon Goretzka and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer — all rested against Bremer — are set to return against Hertha, the only club to have lost both their opening Bundesliga games.
Bayern needed a late Lewandowski goal to grab a 4-3 win when Hertha visited the Allianz Arena last October, but it is nearly 44 years since they last lost to Hertha in Munich.
Hertha have sold Brazilian Olympic gold-medal winner Matheus Cunha to Atletico Madrid, but coach Pal Dardai says the pressure is off.
“Everyone thinks ‘They won’t get anything at all down there’. All the better,” said Dardai. “We’re not going there for a day trip.”
On Sunday, Borussia Moenchengladbach striker Alassane Plea could ease his club’s injury woes by being fit for their trip to Union Berlin.
Defender Stefan Lainer and forward Marcus Thuram are both sidelined by serious injuries sustained in last Saturday’s 4-0 thumping at Bayer Leverkusen.
Plea limped off with a twisted knee, but was able to train this week.
Wolfsburg, the early leaders after two wins, host RB Leipzig, who thrashed Stuttgart 4-0 last weekend.
New signing Luca Waldschmidt, recruited from Benfica last week, is a doubt after a clash of heads in his first Wolfsburg training session on Wednesday.
One to watch: Dominik Szoboszlai
After a long wait to make his RB Leipzig debut after joining from Salzburg in January due to injury, the 20-year-old is making up for lost time this season.
Szoboszlai smashed in two long-range goals on his first Bundesliga start against Stuttgart, having also scored on his debut as a substitute in the German Cup in early August.
He is already forging a successful midfield partnership with playmaker Emil Forsberg.
Fixtures (all times 1330GMT unless stated)
Borussia Dortmund v Hoffenheim (1830)
VfB Stuttgart v Freiburg, Mainz v Greuther Fuerth, Augsburg v Bayer Leverkusen, Arminia Bielefeld v Eintracht Frankfurt, Cologne v Bochum (1330), Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin (1630)
Union Berlin v Borussia Moenchengladbach (1330), Wolfsburg v RB Leipzig (1530)