2016 golden boy award winner Renato Sanches faces a season that will make or mar his career. On the back of a triumphant Euro 2016 campaign with Portugal, he joined Bayern and looked set to light up the Bundesliga.

An underwhelming first season in Bavaria followed a loan to Swansea who ended the season relegated from the Premier League – you can get the latest odds for Swansea to return to the Premier League here at the online casino.

He was determined to prove himself to new manager Niko Kovač at Bayern last summer despite interest from several clubs. Sanches did make a promising start to the season culminating in a stirring Champions League performance against hometown club Benfica.

Sanches’ playing time reduced drastically as Kovač stuck with a lineup that stormed to the title at the turn of the year. However, he registered a goal and an assist from only 567 minutes in the Bundesliga, with a shot and a dribble each per game.

The Amadora-born offers abundant energy and tireless running from midfield, a key asset in a forward-thinking team. His composure in possession and tenacity also makes him a versatile option for any midfield role.

However, Sanches is utterly shorn of confidence, he needs regular playing time to harness his obviously supreme talent at a career crossroads.

Kovač has assured the midfielder increased playing time this season; and James Rodriguez’s exit offers evidence to that, he needs to carefully assess his options to avoid another inactive year. 

In a midfield consisting Joshua Kimmich, Thiago, Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretzka; Sanches should fancy his chances as an attacking inspiration from midfield and a goal against Fenerbahçe in pre-season is much-needed.

He might well force a move to fulfill his potential but he would be keen to take his chance at a club that’s gradually looking to its young players. The club continues to find able replacements for club legends Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben as the new era dawns.

His hardwork and determination to succeed in Munich might just pay off this year as a wildcard option for Kovač. The manager could also do well to capitalize on this hunger to turn around his Bayern career.

At 21, he is at a ripe age to command regular playing time and judging by his early-career promise, he can be truly unstoppable. 

When playing at his best, Sanches is the type of player to become a fan’s favourite due to his intensity. Perhaps the Allianz Arena crowd are about to have a new cult hero.

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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is an aspiring football journalist, a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.
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