'Sane should win YPOTY because he is new to the Premier League'

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The Germany winger is the only player on the PFA's shortlist with no prior experience of English football

Manchester City left-back Gael Clichy believes his team-mate Leroy Sane should win the PFA Young Player of the Year award because he has impressed while adapting to English football.

Sane, 21, signed from Schalke last summer and has been shortlisted for this year's award alongside Tottenham duo Dele Alli and Harry Kane, Everton's Romelu Lukaku, Sunderland's Jordan Pickford and Burnley's Michael Keane, who have been playing in England for several seasons.

The Germany international endured a difficult start to life at City, with manager Pep Guardiola revealing the "shy" winger needed time to get used to his surroundings.

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Sane scored his first goal for the club against Arsenal in December and his fine form since returning from injury in January has been recognised by the PFA.

And while Clichy says he noticed the German's talent immediately, he believes he should win the award this year because, unlike his rivals, he has also had to prove he can play in a new league. 

“At the beginning, I could tell he is a player with so much ability, so much talent, but you need to get yourself used to a new country," the Frenchman told reporters. "You need to find a balance between being a young talented boy who will play a few minutes there, if he scores, he scores. If he doesn't, onto the next one.

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"I think the switch has been happening since the time he scored Arsenal. From that moment, he realised he had something to do for the team. Since he has been playing with Gabriel or Sergio at the front, Sterling on the right, it's really when the season started to go a little bit easier for us.

"When you play against players like this you have to be aware of the talent they have. The consistency has also been good for him, he hasn't suffered any injuries [in recent months], he came here every morning fresh to training, you can tell he is enjoying his football and that's what you want for a player.

"I think it's fair he's been nominated for the young player of the season and I really do hope he wins it because it's really hard coming to a new country at his age and adapt so quickly, the way he did. I hope people will do the right thing for him but I hope even if he doesn't get it this season, he will get so many in the future because he's got so much potential.”

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