WHAT TO MAKE OF IMMINENT MANE DEPARTURE
In the closing weeks of the season, reports emerged of a meeting between Sadio Mané’s agent Bjorn Bezemer and Hasan Salihamidžić, the sporting director of Bayern Munich. Rumours of interest in the Senegalese superstar predictably started making the rounds.
In the wake of Robert Lewandoski making it clear he wanted away from Bavaria, the German side had reportedly set sights on Mane. These rumours gained legitimacy when Sadio refused to commit his future to the club in the buildup to the Champions League final.
He hinted at a departure by suggesting he’ll make an announcement on his future after the showpiece final in Paris. Since then, it’s become widely accepted that the winger’s six year association with Liverpool is coming to an end.
All good things come to an end, and it is perhaps naive to expect these players to play out the rest of their careers on Merseyside and retire at the club. A parting of ways at some point is inevitable. All we can hope for is an amicable departure and a capable replacement.
As it stands, Mané is likely to join Bayern Munich as long as a fee can be agreed. It marks the end of an era of sorts. Sadio was the first big signing of the Jürgen Klopp era when he was signed for £34million in the summer of 2016.
Through the Melwood doors that summer came Gini Wijnaldum, Loris Karius, Ragnar Klavan, Alex Manninger, Joel Matip and of course Sadio. It is expected that by the end of this window, only one of those incomings will remain at the club. Sadio has had the biggest impact of the lot.
He was there from the very beginning and has been a key cog in all the successes chalked up in recent years. From winning the club’s Player of the Year award in his very first season as a right winger, to switching to the left when Salah arrived in 2017.
He would become a Premier League and Champions League winner and even clinch the Golden Boot as a left winger. Fast forward to the second half of this season and he reinvented himself as a false nine to lead the line for an ultimately unsuccessful charge to win the quadruple.
Throughout his time at the club, he’s not only offered versatility and quality but a fighting spirit that refuses to give up in the face of adversity. He’s remained humble in the face of rich success, and his hunger to improve has never been quenched.
Being a huge fan favourite, he will definitely be missed. He has been a key fixture in this side for the best part of half a dozen years and left us with memories that’ll last a lifetime. His fitness record was impeccable as well and he could always be counted on.
It is a key departure whichever way you slice it. The onus now lies on new sporting director Julian Ward. In his first summer in the role after taking over from Michael Edwards, Ward has the unenviable task of replacing the player most tipped as Benzema’s closest challenger for the Ballon d’Or this year.
All the best to Ward, and all the best to Sadio, he will forever remain a Liverpool legend. What do we make of it though? What is the reasoning behind the departure? Has it got to do with wages, with the player entering the final year of his contract?
Or is it just a case of the player wanting to explore a new chapter after achieving everything possible (literally winning every trophy available) on Merseyside. The truth will be revealed in due course you’d imagine.
The next question then becomes how will he be replaced? Will the club opt for an out and out striker or a versatile forward who can play through the middle as well as out wide? How does it all fit into Klopp’s evolution of the playing style?
After narrowly missing out on the two biggest prizes and with some members of the squad sure to depart, Liverpool had to have a strong window to equip themselves to go again. Add in a key figure like Mané leaving, and there’s a lot of work to be done on the transfer front.
Mané, Origi and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all likely to leave this summer. The trio made almost a century of appearances combined (97) in the just ended season. There will have to be surgery done on the squad. Not major, as it’s still got a lot of quality, but a number of precision nip and tucks won’t go amiss.
3 thoughts on “WHAT TO MAKE OF IMMINENT MANE DEPARTURE”
It’s sad to see Sadio go, honestly I’d love him to stay, but all good things come to an end. In this modern world of football money rules and it’ll be disappointing if the board does not recognize this, the way we have done deals have been amazing, but it’s the part of keeping the players that’s difficult. We’d know our fate soon, I hope they sign a proper mane replacement.
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Part of our success has come from keeping our best players. If we lose Sadio we can’t afford to go the cheap way in terms of finding a replacement.
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