Football

Paul Clement Describes "Damaged" State Renato Sanches Arrived In

Paul Clement Describes "Damaged" State Renato Sanches Arrived In

One of the most exciting players in Portugal's European Championship winning side, it was little surprise that Renato Sanches had already earned himself a move to Bayern Munich a few weeks previously.

At only 18-years-old, Sanches was the latest in a long line of prospects to come out of Benfica's highly-productive academy.

Yet, it has scarcely been as good for the Portuguese since. Never really settling in Germany, you can forgive Sanches for assuming that when a loan deal was muted, he "thought he was going to Man United, Chelsea or Paris Saint-Germain."

Ultimately finding himself at Swansea, Sanches manager at the time was a man who had spent time with Bayern under Carlo Ancelotti; Paul Clement.

Speaking to The Times today, Clement, who was sacked by the Premier League side earlier this season after a poor run of results, opened up on the circumstances surrounding Sanches and his inability to recreate at Swansea the kind of form he has shown himself capable of delivering previously:

When he came, he was far more damaged than I thought. It was really sad. He was a boy who had almost got the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Having joined Bayern for a fee that could reach as much as €80 million, Sanches could be forgiven for feeling pressurised by the demands he was facing.

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Only featuring sporadically throughout his first season with Bayern, the move to Swansea, a team that the Germans felt played a style of football that would suit Sanches' development, failed to live up to such expectations:

In training, when that pressure is not there, he was the best player. He could do things no one else could do. He's got power, can go past people, got a shot on him.

But then in games, I looked at the choices he was making, shooting from 45 yards on the angle, and he kept making those mistakes.

With his teammates becoming increasingly frustrated that Clement kept picking the Portuguese despite his poor form, it eventually got to a point where the former Derby manager concedes that "it became difficult to pick him."

An unquestionably talented player, Clement remains hopeful that Sanches can reach his potential.

See Also: "Fuming" Ian Harte Rants About "Too Many Foreign Players" At Leeds

Arthur James O'Dea

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