Two things about Leroy Sane’s first season at Manchester City stand out as particularly strange now, more than two years down the line.
One is that some fans suggested that he was an unnecessary purchase, wondering whether the £47 million fee he commanded could have been spent better elsewhere.
The second thing is that Pep Guardiola once described Sane as ‘shy’.
Sane did indeed take a few months to show even flashes of his devastating best, but it has been a long, long time since anybody has said either of those two things.
The German takes a seemingly never-ending amount of self-belief into every game. With that allied to his natural pace, athleticism and mastery of a football he has already grown into an almost peerless Premier League danger man.
Sane managed five goals and three assists in his debut campaign, but since the start of last season he has more assists (24) than anybody else in England. Even adding on his comparatively meagre first-season haul, only Kevin De Bruyne (36) and Christian Eriksen (34) have more assists than he does (27) since he first arrived at City. And having hit ‘only’ five goals in 2016-17, he got 10 last season and has eight already this time around.