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Renato Sanches: I'm much happier at Lille than I was at Bayern Munich

18:11 GMT 02/11/2020
Renato Sanches Lille 2019-20
The 23-year-old is helping the Ligue 1 side challenge PSG at the top of the French table, putting his disappointing spell in the Bundesliga behind him

Renato Sanches says he is much happier now than he was during his ill-fated spell at Bayern Munich.

The Portugal midfielder joined Bayern after a string of impressive performances at Euro 2016, but he failed to deliver on the potential that saw him named that year’s European Golden Boy.

Sanches, now 23, suffered through a disastrous loan spell at Swansea before being sold to Lille in 2019, where he has rediscovered his best form.

This summer, Lille president Gerard Lopez claimed the Ligue 1 club had rejected offers of €70 million (£64m/$82m) for Sanches – and it seems he was happy to stay.

“Honestly, I feel better than a few years ago when I signed for Bayern,” Sanches told La Voix du Nord.

“Simply because I play more, and when I play more, I have more confidence in myself. This is really what has changed since then.

“What is important for me is to feel the trust of my team-mates and that they feel my trust too. That's what allows me to find my place in the team, but I always have this feeling that I can do better; it's my mentality, I still have a lot to learn. I just try to give the best, for myself, for the team.”

After struggling under the spotlight in the Bundesliga, Sanches is enjoying himself on the pitch once more.

Lille finished fourth in Ligue 1 in the cut-short 2019-20 season and are unbeaten in their first nine games this time around, sitting second behind Paris Saint-Germain.

“For me, it is important to have this combination of the serious side of the game but also the pleasure side of playing. I need to have fun and have that feeling on the pitch.

“So yes, sometimes there are good games, sometimes others aren’t as good for me, but I need to have this feeling of pleasure to improve myself day by day. Because that's what matters to me, to become better.

“I am an emotional person. I sometimes have trouble controlling my emotions. But I don't want to lose that side of my personality, because if I lose it, I'm going to lose myself too.

“With the coach (Christophe Galtier), there are also times when things heat up a bit, but he is aware of it, I am aware of it, and that is why I must also improve on that side.”