Man City's Leroy Sane backed by Gael Clichy to clean up future awards

Leroy Sane will win plenty of individual honours even if he misses out on this season's PFA Young Player of the Year award, according to Manchester City teammate Gael Clichy.

Sane, 21, has been shortlisted for the PFA award along with Tottenham Hotspur pair Dele Alli and Harry Kane, Burnley defender Michael Keane, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

After struggling to make an immediate impact following his £37 million move from Schalke in the summer when he was hampered by a hamstring injury, the Germany international has been in impressive form since the turn of the year, starting 15 of City's last 16 games and scoring seven goals in that time.

"I think it's fair he's been nominated for the young player of the season and I really do hope he wins it because it's really hard coming to a new country at his age and adapting so quickly, the way he did," Clichy said.

"I hope people will do the right thing for him but I hope even if he doesn't get it this season, he will get so many [awards] in the future because he's got so much potential."

Clichy said it was clear soon after Sane's arrival that he was an exciting prospect and he believes City have a hugely impressive young forward line.

"At the beginning, I could tell he is a player with so much ability, so much talent, but you need to get yourself used to a new country," he said. "You need to find a balance between being a young talented boy who will play a few minutes there, if he scores, he scores. If he doesn't, onto the next one.

"I think the switch has been happening since the time he scored against Arsenal [in the 2-1 win on Dec. 18]. From that moment, he realised he had something to do for the team.

"Since he has been playing with Gabriel [Jesus] or Sergio [Aguero] at the front, [Raheem] Sterling on the right, it's really when the season started to go a little bit easier for us. When you play against players like this you have to be aware of the talent they have.

"The consistency has also been good for him, he hasn't suffered any injuries, he came here every morning fresh to training. You can tell he is enjoying his football and that's what you want for a player."

Sane's only realistic hope of a first medal with City in his first season is the FA Cup, but first they must secure a place in the final by getting past Clichy's former club Arsenal.

Clichy, who is out of contract at the end of the summer, says it will be tough against his old side despite the disruption at the Emirates Stadium surrounding the future of manager Arsene Wenger.

"Of course, playing against Arsenal is something extra," he said. "In the end, the only thing that matters for us is to get through to the final and lift the trophy for the fans.

"A team like Manchester City, of course you expect them to fight for the Champions League, you expect them to be close for the title race. But in the end, the FA Cup is a major trophy in England, people love this competition and, of course, we are going to try hard to get it done. There are just seven or eight games left, so we have to give everything until the end of the season."