Renato Sanches will be given another chance to make it at Bayern Munich, after spending a season on loan in the Premier League. The Portuguese midfielder has fallen from grace since being named Euro 2016 golden boy.
Renato Sanches will return to Bayern Munich and be given the opportunity to impress incoming coach Niko Kovac next season, according to Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Sanches, 20, was left out of Portugal's squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after helping them win the European Championship in France in 2016, a tournament in which he was anointed Europe's best young player.
Bayern Munich recruited Sanches from Portuguese side Benfica in 2016, paying the Lisbon-based club €35 million ($39 million at the time). After an underwhelming first season with the Bavarians, he spent this past season on loan at Swansea City, who were relegated from the Premier League.
"He is coming back," Rummenigge said in a pre-copy of Friday's edition of the Münchener Merkur newspaper. "Niko Kovac will try to bring him back to his former glory. This is an exciting task."
A fallen star
After winning the Young Player of the Tournament award at Euro 2016 at age 18, Sanches made just nine starts for Bayern in the 2016-17 season. The central midfielder was then left out of the Portugal side for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia and relegated to Portugal's under-21 side for the U21 European championship in Poland.
Once he returned to Bayern, he found himself on the periphery of then-coach Carlo Ancelotti's squads. The Bavarian giants decided send him on loan to Swansea City, who were managed by Ancelotti's protégé Paul Clement at the time of his arrival.
But his loan spell in Wales didn't go well either. Clement stopped starting Sanches regularly after just 11 Premier League games. After Clement was sacked in December, he made just three starts the rest of the season, missing three months with a thigh injury.
"Renato has had two difficult years, which I believe were related to his elevation as the golden boy of Euro 2016," Rummenigge said. "Psychologically, that was not easy for him to handle. We were totally convinced of him two years ago and will not give up on him now."
Sanches will once again have a lot of competition for a midfield spot under Kovac, who will take the helm at Bayern after coaching Frankfurt in Saturday's German Cup final. The club recruited Leon Goretzka from Schalke in the spring to add to a central midfield mix of Javi Martinez, Sebastian Rudy, Arturo Vidal, Corentin Tolisso, Thiago and James Rodriguez.