Germany coach Joachim Low has explained his controversial decision to cut Manchester City’s Leroy Sane from his squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The 58-year-old, who has been in charge of Germany since 2006 and won football’s biggest showpiece with Die Mannschaft in 2014, opted to omit Sane from his final selection for Russia, despite the winger being named the PFA Young Player of the Season in England.
Sane scored 14 goals and assisted another 19 strikes in 49 appearances for City in the 2017/18 campaign, but has not scored and has only set up one goal in his 12 appearances for Germany so far.
“It was a very close decision between him and Julian Brandt, which was made in favour of Brandt,” Low explained, as quoted by the Daily Metro.
“Julian Draxler, Marco Reus and Thomas Müller are set.
“Leroy is a huge talent. He will be back again from September. He had not arrived in international matches yet. It was a very close decision. If it was a 100m race, it would have been a photo finish.”
Low also revealed how he informed the four players, namely Sane, Jonathan Tah, Bernd Leno and Nils Petersen, of his decision to cut them from Germany’s final World Cup squad on Monday morning, and that it was not an easy day for him.
“There are certainly easier days in the life of a national team head coach than they day where I have to send four payers home,” he added.
“These are four players who had merited their place in the provisional squad through their performances. I spoke to the four players and the disappointment was huge, as you would expect.
“It’s as if you are stood at the check-in desk for your flight to Moscow, but are then prevented from boarding.
Germany, who have been drawn in Group F alongside Mexico, Sweden and Korea Republic, will face Saudi Arabia in their final preparation game on Friday.