Renato Sanches

Renato Sanches
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Renato Sanches

Current Club: Swansea City on loan from Bayern Munich.
Previous Clubs: Benfica.
Loan Clubs: Swansea City.

International: Portugal 13 caps 1 goal.
Trophies Won: European Nations Champion 2016, German Bundesliga Champion 2017, Portugese League Champion 2016, Portugese League Cup 2016, German Super Cup 2017, 2018.

Lots of people on the Liverpool and Manchester United sites asked me to write a profile on Sanches after the 2016 Euros, where he was such an integral part of the Portugese victory that Bayern jumped in to sign him. However, every time I tried to watch him at Bayern he would not be in the team, so it has been stuck in my request queue for a lot longer than he should have been. Now he is at the Swans, and playing, I have been able to watch him play, at last. While I was going to leave this profile until I had watched him a few more times, I thought I would do it early to highlight the danger of judging a player on just one or two games.

What I do know is that he is naturally an attack minded central midfielder, however I have not seen that for Swansea yet. Instead I have seen a portly young man, with a poor first touch, who looks completely out of his depth and lacks basic fitness. Not what you expect for a near £8m loan fee for just one season, that is for sure! Sanches has looked lethargic, with a complete lack of timing, which is why his touch has been quite so poor and his passes are struggling to reach their intended target. He also, despite carrying a lot of weight, seems weak and easily pushed off the ball.

None of what I have seen ties in with what I was told about Sanches by people who watched him play in the Euros. So which Sanches is the actual Sanches? From what I have seen, a lack of fitness is the main problem, but, at the age of 20 and having come to the Premier League following a preseason training programme at Bayern, fitness should not be an issue. My inference, from what I have seen, is that Sanches is suffering from something far worse than fitness issues, he looks like a player who has become demotivated, lost his desire and hunger for the game in the year on the sidelines at Bayern.

That is more worrying than a lack of fitness, as fitness is much easier to regain, though it can become a struggle to build fitness without motivation. Many top class players have faded away too early after losing that desire to carry on training and playing. Hopefully Sanches will rediscover his drive while a regular at Swansea and provides them with some attacking creativity and attacking drive, anything to make them more entertaining to watch! Hopefully, in a few weeks I will be updating this profile to rave about how good he is, how strong, quick and skilful he is as he drives the South Wales team forward and turns them from tedious and slow, a real struggle to stay awake while watching, into an exciting and enjoyable watch.