Sat, 15 Aug 2020

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, July 5 (Xinhua) -- Bayern Munich's 13th league and cup double has sent out a clear message to two addresses.

The club's European rivals are fully aware that they will be facing a determined top-quality team greedy for more success when Champions League action resumes in August.

It also tells the club's new arrival Leroy Sane that he is joining a new team that expects top-class performances every time they go out on the pitch.

A smile appeared on the 24-year old's face when he signed a five-year contract with the German record-holding champions. The 50-million-euro transfer from Premier Leagues Manchester City admitted that he was really looking forward to donning his Munich shirt.

Witnessing Bayern's dominant performance in the German Cup final when crushing Bayer Leverkusen 4-2, the German international might have understood the vast expectations he is facing upon his return to his home country.

Sane is expected to follow in the footsteps of none other than the legendary Arjen Robben. Announcing they would be giving Sane the prestigious number 10 might have been the first indication that the newcomer is about to enter a world of constantly high ambitions.

For Sane, Serge Gnabry, and Kingsley Coman, it might be the biggest challenge of their career to replace Robben and Frank Ribery. Both shaped an era down the flanks which culminated in the triumphant treble victory in 2013.

Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho, who was given the number 10 jersey after Robben's departure, failed to live up to expectations. Now it up to Sane to do better.

Having reached the status of an emerging superstar, at least from a German perspective, Sane seems well advised to accept his coach's choice when selecting his favorite two for the wings.

While Coman can count on his speed, and Gnabry on his physical power, it is up to Sane to deliver irresistible dribbling. More than his rivals at his new club, Sane stands for a style that comes close to Robben -- perhaps Bayern's best performer in one-on-one situations.

Bayern board member Hasan Salihamidzic said the club's wing positions are now filled with players of the highest quality.

The former midfielder said it might not be the time to talk about the future as the 2019/2020 season is not yet finished, and the Bavarians are aiming to win a third possible title before Sane is allowed to ply his trade.

Between the lines, he nevertheless sent out a message to Sane; it might be a challenge to join a well-oiled side with potential to win the most important club competition.

Before Sane can prove his skills and ability to perform under intense pressure, Bayern is facing an unfamiliar situation, having to take a break before the Champions League gets underway again.

While other European leagues such as the Italian, English, and Spanish have just re-started, the German Bundesliga has already ended. Bayern's head-coach Hansi Flick claims the break provides the chance to recover, and he expects the team's determination to continue.

Bayern's leading performers, likes Manuel Neuer and Thomas Mueller, have repeatedly announced they are striving for nothing less than another treble despite the break of about two weeks in advance.

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