​Leroy Sane was the surprise name on the teamsheet for Manchester City in the Champions League in midweek, with the German actually getting on to the pitch in the second half to replace Raheem Sterling.

The 22-year-old was supposed to be out until early March after being cynically scythed down by Cardiff's Joe Bennett last month but, whether Pep Guardiola exaggerated his lay-off period or Sane's body has hidden regeneration abilities, he was there on Tuesday night ready to be called upon by his manager.

FC Basel v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

All in all, Sane was only absent for a couple of weeks, but in that time his replacement Bernardo Silva has been shining for the Citizens, which is nice to see given the reduced role he's had to contend with so far in his debut campaign.

What's remarkable about the graceful Bernardo, is the maturity in his style of play already; you really wouldn't suspect that he's only 23 years old. Often, this is more beneficial to the team, with Sane yet to develop that same maturity in his play.


It is commonplace for fans, particularly the younger ones, to be taken by the raw straight line speed of Sane. It is a fantastic sight to see him in full flow down the left or right wing, but there are a lot of occasions where the former Schalke star fluffs his lines when he latches on to the ball in the final third, or when he tries to beat his man - something Bernardo has more success with.

It is clear that Sane has superb natural ability and could make a similar transformation to that of Gareth Bale in the future - Sane is of a similar build to the young Tottenham Bale at present - but right now he is a bit inconsistent, which is something that Bernardo has shown less of and therefore deserves a crack at continuing as a starter, with Sterling shifted out to the left.

Bernardo's performance against Basel in midweek was excellent, and *that touch* on the touchline in the second half, Ronaldinho-esque. His goal was a little scrappy, but no less that he has deserved recently.

He arrived in Manchester for £42m with a big reputation having starred for the fabulous Monaco side of last season. He's had to bide his time, making lots of substitute appearances throughout the season, but perhaps now is the time for him to be getting the nod over Sane in the team.

Bernardo has 10 goal involvements across all competitions so far this season and it would be nice to see him afforded more starts by Guardiola to give him chance to improve on those stats - his ability sure as hell would suggest he's capable of doing so, while helping the Citizens to win more games in the process.

In a team full of players staking their claims for starting positions, Bernardo is arguably the man who deserves his chance the most. His measured elegance and trickery is quite magnificent to watch at times and certainly gets bums off chairs, just as Sane blasting down the wing does too.