When Swansea signed Renato Sanches on loan this summer, football fans couldn’t quite believe it.
The Portuguese youngster won the Golden Boy award in 2016, following in the footsteps of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Isco.
But after failing to establish himself at Bayern Munich following his €35 million move from Benfica, the 20-year-old was hoping that a move to Paul Clement’s Swansea would reignite his career.
That hasn’t quite gone to plan, though.
A number of disappointing performances in the Premier League has seen him dropped from Swansea’s squad and he hasn’t played since a five-minute cameo against Stoke on December 2.
When you can’t even get a game for bottom-placed Swansea, you know you’re struggling.
And Bayern Munich boss, Jupp Heynckes, explained that the German club have no interest in recalling him from his season-long loan.
"There have been no talks about bringing him back in," Heynckes said.
"I recognize that Hasan Salihamidžić has spoken to him on the phone, but there was no talk of returning to the winter market, we are well stocked with midfielders."
So Bayern won’t be rescuing him from his nightmare in Swansea and neither will any other club.
That’s because a player is not allowed to play for three different teams in the same season.
That’s why Sanches will now be seriously regretting the six minutes he played for Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup at the start of the season.
This six-minute appearance means he’s unable to sign for another club this season and is now stuck at Swansea if Bayern decide not to recall him.
It certainly has been a fall from grace for Sanches but, at the age of 20, there’s still plenty of time left for him to get his career back on track.
For now, though, he needs to concentrate on playing a few more matches for Swansea - and improving his performances.
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