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Manchester City

Sane names Man Utd loan star as shock pick for toughest opponent

11:19 AM EST 3/4/18
Leroy Sane Timothy Fosu-Mensah
The German international has torn many defences to ribbons this season, but admits to struggling against Crystal Palace's Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Leroy Sane has given opposition defences nightmares this season, but the Manchester City star admits to having struggled against Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

The Germany international winger has been in sensational form for City, netting 12 times across all competitions and providing 13 assists.

Few have been able to contain him, with his contribution helping Pep Guardiola’s side to canter towards the Premier League title while also collecting the Carabao Cup.

The Champions League crown is also still in their sights, with European rivals needing to come up with a plan to stop a free-scoring outfit.

Those set to face Sane and City would be advised to check out the methods of Crystal Palace loanee Fosu-Mensah, with the Manchester United youngster having fared admirably when presented with the toughest of challenges.

Pressed by Sky Sports to name the toughest opponent he has faced, Sane said: “It was before when I was playing against Kyle Walker. And Crystal Palace's right-back Timothy Fosu-Mensah, I have played against him twice this season, and even last season, he had me really well under control and I told him how happy I was to play against him.”

While Sane may have struggled to produce his best against Palace, he has been a talismanic presence for City this season – much like the boyhood heroes he is trying to emulate .

The 22-year-old said on his icons: “Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho, especially Ronaldinho - how he was playing, enjoying football, you could never see that he had any pressure. It did not matter who was in front of him, he just tried to pass the player, no matter how, and this is the player I tried to play like!”

Sane is heading towards that talent bracket, along with many of his club colleagues.

Kevin De Bruyne has been another star turn for City this season, with the Belgium international midfielder looking unplayable at times.

“Kevin is a fantastic player and everyone knows and can see that,” Sane said of a talented team-mate.

“He also really enjoys playing football and the way he plays is fantastic - the assists and some of the passes he plays….. I just run into the space and say, 'Kevin, here, here!' Sometimes he is not even looking at me and he still passes the ball.

"And that is why I always say that when Kevin has the ball, something is going to happen. So, we as strikers have to be ready and give him a choice of where to play the ball. And even if the space is really tight and you think the ball cannot go through, you still must expect that he will find a way to play the ball through."