This article is written by George. Check him out on Twitter @georjecb.
Renato Sanches sprung to notoriety last summer when he signed with Bayern Munich for €35 million – a fairly hefty sum for a relatively unknown teenager. Less than one month later, he was off to France to play in the 2016 European Championship where he eventually helped Portugal win the entire competition.
The then 18-year-old played outstandingly and displayed just how much better he was than what his age suggested. He was extremely strong physically and had the body of someone in their mid-twenties who had spent hours upon hours in the gym. He also had a fairly decent understanding of the game for such a young head, as well as having the technical ability to survive at many of Europe’s top clubs. He really was an exciting prospect.
After that brilliant summer, people expected Sanches to hit the ground running at Bayern. But he didn’t. Last season the midfielder made just 6 starts in the league for the German champions and throughout the entire season he didn’t score a single goal or make an assist.
The Portuguese teenager is without doubt a talented player despite the disappointment of last season. Perhaps the move from his boyhood club Benfica to Bayern Munich was made a little too early, and maybe he needed a couple more years to develop and gain confidence in his own ability.
Anyway, Renato Sanches has attracted a lot of attention this transfer window, as explained by Bayern’s CEO: “there are at least ten teams after Sanches.” Some of these teams are yet to be named, but one of the clubs who has been named is Chelsea. Bayern’s CEO said that Conte has asked for some information about the 19-year-old after he put in an impressive display against the Blues in pre-season.
Other clubs rumoured to be interested in Sanches include AC Milan and Manchester United, however, these are just rumours at the moment.
One thing I must stress is that Bayern have said if Renato Sanches does leave, it’ll almost certainly be on loan. So perhaps we could see him make a move to a team like AC Milan where he will get more game time than at Bayern, and hopefully he’ll be able to develop. I could even imagine him at Chelsea. Not only would the extra minutes help him, but also the experience of working with a different set of coaching staff should go a long way to helping him become an even better player.
I personally think he should make the most of this opportunity he has to go on loan. In all honesty it doesn’t really matter where he goes – the main thing is that he gets enough game time to prove that he’s still the same player we saw shock the world during the Euros.