Mats Hummels has criticised the attitudes of young German players and told Leroy Sane he cannot expect to be held in similar regard to the likes of Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil just yet after he was surprisingly left out of the World Cup squad.
Sane enjoyed arguably the best campaign of his fledgling career in 2017-18, scoring 10 goals and setting up another 15 as he helped Manchester City win the Premier League title.
His form was recognised in the end-of-season awards, as he was named the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Young Player of the Year, while he was also nominated for the Players’ Player of the Year individual gong.
But his form in a Germany shirt did not convince Joachim Low to name him among the final selection of 23 players for Russia.
And, despite the criticism, Hummels has backed his manager, insisting Sane is not as important to the team as Muller and Ozil, before going on to criticise Germany’s younger generation.
“Leroy Sane has not the same standing as Thomas Muller or Mesut Ozil,” Hummels told reporters.
“Sometimes it takes time to have the same standing in the national team as in your club.
“It is noticeable that the guys coming up from youth ranks – at Bayern too – are different guys to 10, 12 years ago.
“That is the new generation. They are characterised by a different behaviour, like on social media.
“I was always the youngest one in my team and I had to carry the goals. That is simply normal. Nowadays you notice some 18-year-olds don’t understand why they have to do this.
“I didn’t talk a single word in the Bayern locker room during the first weeks. I only talked to Stephan Furstner and Michael Rensing because I knew them from the second team.
“To everyone else I maybe said ‘hello’, but today everything is faster and after one week players behave like they’ve already played three years for the team.”