He offered a first inkling of great things to come last season and in 2015/16, Leroy Sané has been busy making good on that promise for FC Schalke 04. Four goals and as many assists in 13 appearances, eight as a starter, are the bald Bundesliga statistics so far for the 19-year-old attacking midfielder; but they only tell half the story.
Two of those goals were spectacular match-winners, another earned his side a draw. And a typically irresistible solo paved the way to a further three points for the Royal Blues. Sané evidently has the happy knack of striking when it matters most.
"He's a great talent – lucky Germany," Pep Guardiola remarked recently. The FC Bayern coach's national team counterpart Joachim Löw clearly agrees, and called up Sané to the world champions' squad for the recent friendly away to France. "Leroy's one of the revelations of the season. He's got pace, great technique, he goes at defenders and he's quite uninhibited. He has huge potential," Löw summarised.
Sané came off the bench for his full international debut with half an hour to go in Paris, in a game totally overshadowed by the terror attacks on the French capital, including those outside the Stade de France itself. The following week, he was back on competitive U-21 duty, putting in a man-of-the-match performance as Germany beat Austria 4-2 in a crunch European Championship qualifier. Afterwards, Austria coach Werner Gregoritsch was moved to comment, "I saw Raheem Sterling a couple of years ago and thought he set the gold standard. But Sané – he's absolutely Class-A."
The son of former Bundesliga stalwart and Senegal international Souleymane Sané, Leroy came up through the ranks at Schalke's famous Knappenschmiede and at the moment is under contract with the Royal Blues until 2019. If his progress has been a "dream come true" already, it is one that looks set fair to run and run. On current form, the latest Schalke young gun could well have a role to play as Germany attempt to add the European title to their world crown in France next summer.