Leroy Sane Left Out of Germany World Cup Squad, Marco Reus Included

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2018

Germany's midfielder Leroy Sane during the international friendly footbal match Austria v Germany in Klagenfurt, Austria, on June 2, 2018. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
JOE KLAMAR/Getty Images

Manchester City forward Leroy Sane has been left out of the Germany squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The defending champions confirmed their 23-man squad for the tournament on Monday, with the winger a surprise omission:

Germany @DFB_Team_EN

The final 23-man squad for the #WorldCup 🇩🇪 #DieMannschaft #ZSMMN https://t.co/SOJa14wIOD

Having missed the last two major tournaments due to injury, Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus is in. Additionally, Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is also included despite sitting out the majority of the 2017-18 season.

As well as Sane, Bernd Leno, Jonathan Tah and Nils Petersen were cut from the 27-man group originally selected by Joachim Low.

While Germany's squad remains formidable, the decision to drop Sane represents a bombshell after his incredible season for City. Low explained his thinking behind leaving the 22-year-old at home.

"That was a very close decision between him and Brandt, which was made in favour of Brandt," he said, per Jacob Murtagh of the Daily Mirror. "[Julian] Draxler, Reus and [Thomas] Muller are set. Leroy has a huge talent. He will be back again from September. He had not arrived in international matches yet."

Ina Fassbender/Associated Press

The youngster was scintillating in 2017-18 from the left flank, tearing around the outside of full-backs with his blistering pace and getting into the box to finish off chances.

Eurosport UK provided the numbers behind his season:

Eurosport UK @Eurosport_UK

Leroy Sane in 2017/18: ⚽️ 14 goals 🅰️ 17 assists 🏆 Premier League 🏆 Carabao Cup 👑 PFA Young Player of the Year 🇩🇪 No place in Germany's World Cup squad... ✈️❌ https://t.co/qt8rN7jo6i

Meanwhile, BBC Sport's Phil McNulty expressed his shock at Sane not making Joachim Low's final cut:

Phil McNulty @philmcnulty

Must be some World Cup squad Germany have got if they can leave out Leroy Sane.

Germany still have class in abundance in the final third, though, with Timo Werner a live wire at the top end of the pitch. Even without Sane, they are stacked in wide areas.

Thomas Muller has been effective playing from the right side for Germany, while Julian Draxler, Julian Brandt and Reus are capable of operating on the left.

Football writer Jonathan Harding said Sane's absence is not a huge surprise with that in mind:

Jonathan Harding @JonBloggs66

Think the Sane decision is far more justifiable than first appears. Has his electric moments, but Brandt offers more defensively (delighted for him), which Löw likes. Couldn't have dropped Plattenhardt. Needs wingback cover.

Meanwhile, OptaFranz provided some figures that will add further credence to Low's bold decision:

OptaFranz @OptaFranz

0 - In 12 games for Germany, Leroy #Sane provided just one assist (zero goals). Dropped. #WC2018 https://t.co/UD8lJTYovT

The quality is there for Germany to win the competition nonetheless, as they've built well in the four years since their triumph in Brazil.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will likely start between the sticks after Neuer's fitness woes, while Joshua Kimmich has shown he can be a fine replacement for Philipp Lahm for both club and country.

Germany are looking to defend the title they won four years ago.
Germany are looking to defend the title they won four years ago.VI-Images/Getty Images

Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng bring experience in spades at centre-back, while Low has a number of options to choose from in midfield in Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.

With such an impressive squad, Germany will be expected to go far again as they pursue a fifth World Cup win. They begin their tournament against Mexico in Group F on June 17 before meetings with Sweden and South Korea.