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Sadio Mané has just confirmed truth of $79m summer transfer to Liverpool



Sadio Mané has just confirmed the truth about the $79million summer move to Liverpool

Liverpool’s decision to sign the Senegalese legend drew criticism earlier in the season, but in recent months the plan for the Reds’ future has become clear.

When Sadio Mane left Anfield last summer, it’s fair to say it felt like the beginning of the end of an era for Liverpool fans. The Senegal striker left Merseyside a modern-day legend and it was clear his trophy-laden fate was going to be very difficult to follow.

In truth, the Uruguayan initially struggled to emulate the man he replaced in the first months after Darwin Núñez’s arrival from Benfica. A combination of general unrest in the squad after the emotional and physical toll of the previous season’s quadruple and stylistic issues meant the $79m (£64m/€72m) deal struggled to reach the level he had reached in Portugal in the first months of his spell. It should be noted, however, that Mané has certainly not gone his own way since arriving in Germany in the summer, no less clearly than the weekend when he was knocked out in a 2- 1 at halftime. 1 defeat at home against Bayer Leverkusen. The striker started well at the Allianz Arena, scoring 11 goals in 23 games, but a horrific fibula infection on the eve of the World Cup in December will see him miss the tournament and sideline him until end of February. Moreover, the Senegalese talisman is struggling to repeat his form from the start of the season and hasn’t scored in five games since his return.

His worries after his return to fitness were heightened by criticism of his style of play, amid allegations in a lengthy report by Sport1 journalist Kerry Hau that the 30-year-old lacked the “speed and explosiveness” that made him at Anfield Road, with his ability when the team are in possession also under control. According to him, Bayern Munich’s coaching staff and club management have been disappointed with Mane’s contributions so far this season as the former Kop favorite was considered to have ‘lost too many duels’, which has been a “permanent problem during training sessions”. Hau noted in his post that Mane was unsuitable for Julian Nagelsmann’s side as his perceived unsuitability in certain positions made him appear as a “foreign body” to the German champions. He explained: “Mané looks visibly uncomfortable, like a foreign body, because he has a lot less space in possession [on the left wing]. He also gets lost at the forward position. center and is often offside (18 times in 18 Bundesliga games).”

Comparing his fortunes to Núñez, the Senegalese superstar may have been more impressive initially after his move to the Bundesliga, but it’s fair to say the tide has turned in 2023. There’s no doubt that Mané has been hampered by an injury and, if his exploits at Liverpool are to be believed, he will eventually reverse negative perceptions of his ability, but the impact of his replacement at Anfield as part of a revamped Front 3 has been seen in recent weeks suggest Jurgen Klopp may have made some good decisions over the summer.

Of course, with 18 goals and assists in just 2,020 minutes of football for Klopp’s side this season, Núñez’s debut season was anything but a failure. That said, it would be fair to suggest that his best performances have come this calendar year, with the Uruguayan star player having been a key part of Liverpool’s recent relative resurgence in form. The Reds are third in the table in their last six games, showing real improvement, and the striker has scored five goals in the five games he has had available this term.

Curiously, like Mane, the 23-year-old Mercurial striker struggled to find the best position for his new club in the first few months of his stay at Anfield, but a move to left wing saw him excel, with his ability to wreak havoc . becoming a real asset to the Reds from outside in the final third. The record signing from Liverpool has eight goals in 13 games from this position and given his dramatic improvement in recent months in this position, it would be fair to say his best days in the red shirt should be ahead of him.

Undoubtedly parting ways with a player of Mane’s ability would affect all teams and the wisdom of letting a player of pedigree leave for a European rival has understandably been questioned. However, in his replacement, Liverpool may have gained a player who seems to be improving with every game and, in his recent form, Klopp may have made the right decision after all.


Liverpool chances of signing Jude Bellingham, FSG investment and your transfer questions answered

ECHO’s Ian Doyle hosted a Q&A where he answered questions from Liverpool readers about Jude Bellingham, transfers, FSG investments and more

Injuries, transfer failures and uncertainty behind the scenes are just some of the reasons for Liverpool’s nightmarish season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side chased silver on four fronts in the 2021/22 season and won a domestic cup double as they narrowly missed out on their seventh European Cup and 20th league title. champion. This time, however, it was a radically different story.

Of all cup competitions, the Reds now have a battle to finish in the top four in what can only be described as an inconsistent Premier League campaign. While issues such as transfers, FSG ownership and Liverpool’s form have been widely discussed in recent months. Where has it all gone wrong for Liverpool this season? How do they avoid a repeat in the 2023-24 campaign? Do the Reds need Champions League football to lure Jude Bellingham to Anfield? Exactly how much is the FSG giving Klopp to spend on the transfer market?

Our Liverpool lead writer Ian Doyle, who covers the Reds home and away and is familiar with the whispers in the corridors of power at Anfield, has covered all these points and more in our latest Reds Q&A. And below is a summary of the session that took place on Thursday afternoon.

BigPete8: Hi Ian, that’s easy for you mate. How do you rate our chances of signing Bellingham?

Ian Doyle: I think they are much higher than the naysayers say, but lower than Liverpool’s most optimistic fan base.

Daryl876: Everyone wants expensive players. Why can’t we buy talent that is affordable? Like Mitoma for example.

ID: FSG and Klopp have been working together for years to find good value players. But now they operate in a different atmosphere and immediately improving the squad, as needed in the summer, will not be cheap. There will always be room for smart signings, but as in 2018, it could be a summer where Liverpool will have to spend big. Cgmoore: Hi Ian, thanks for doing this. Do you think the sporting director rumors are false as Edward was looking for a new challenge and Ward was unable to handle the job due to the Arthur affair?

ID: I really think Edwards wanted to rest and change since he’s been doing it for so long, and Ward realized how much work consumed him and was eager to step back.

Boss: I live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and our LFC WhatsApp supporters number more than 100. One thing we can all agree on is that Klopp’s game plan is the same. No change. There doesn’t seem to be a plan B. How come City, Arsenal, Spurs etc. can score and beat Bournemouth but not us? Klopp’s tactics were devised by opposing clubs two seasons ago.

ID: Liverpool actually had 23 different attacking lines with at least five tactical variations in 40 games this year. Liverpool beat Bournemouth 9-0 earlier this season, don’t forget that. Players make systems and the lack of much availability in midfield has been the problem all season. The Reds couldn’t do much.

Lioncity: Hi Ian, both Ward and Graham decided to leave because they no longer felt empowered to do their jobs to the best of their ability as reported?

ID: Not that I know of. Jivebunny: Hello! 1) Will media speculation everywhere about Jude Bellingham take a toll on a still very young player? 2) If the bottom three clubs are relegated, leading to a massive sale/exit, who should we turn to? 3) Alisson has lost an international cap: what are the chances of him going elsewhere and if he does, would Kelleher stay? (I really like Big K, but I can totally understand that he wants more play time).

ID: If Bellingham can’t handle the media pressure to move to Liverpool, how will they fare if he ends up at Real Madrid? He played for Dortmund for several years, played in the World Cup and the Champions League – I’m sure he will be fine. As for the bottom three, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse would be useful at the right price, but West Ham midfielder Declan Rice could be too much. One of the Hammers goalkeepers could come in handy. I guess Kelleher is leaving this summer for the sake of his career but if Alisson wants out it would be a big, big surprise and it would send friction around the club. Mind you, he would make Liverpool a lot of money. Chandm: Hey Ian, I just wanted to know what the situation was with Ryan Gravenberch after the report said it’s a done deal. THANKS.

ID: He is one of many, many, many players that Liverpool are watching.

Dannylee9: Hey Ian! What is Liverpool’s summer transfer budget? Who do you think they will sign?

ID: Hi Dannylee9. As I’ve answered elsewhere, there are currently too many variables to know the budget. And that affects who they sign. So that would just be a guess at this point. But speaking personally to my opinion based on nothing but my feelings on the matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if they signed at least Bellingham and Nunes.

SiSenor97: If Liverpool don’t sign Jude Bellingham, do you see him as a catalyst to finally get the owners out? Lost seasons for a player not to sign him is ridiculous.

SiSenor97: If Liverpool don’t sign Jude Bellingham, do you see that as a catalyst to finally get the owners out? Lost seasons for a player not to sign him is ridiculous.

ID: If Liverpool don’t sign Bellingham, I’m sure it won’t be the owners’ fault. And Bellingham never left Dortmund until this summer anyway. In the end, Klopp wanted Tchouameni last year and that didn’t happen, so he looked at other areas of the squad. Ian11: How close are we to an investment Ian? and what amount do you think will be available for the summer period or does it depend on getting the first 4…

ID: I like your name. As far as investments are concerned, only FSG knows and it would be counterproductive of them to say anything. But the fact that John Henry recently told ECHO that Liverpool have identified a number of potential investors suggests they are at least on the right track. Sean1993: Hi Doyle, what will be the future of our club especially with the Sheikh of Qatar set to take over from Man United? Surely most fans are more worried about that after recent news broke that the club are unlikely to sign Jude Bellingham due to the high asking price? Please share your honest opinion with us.

ID: Hello Sean1993, It’s been a good year. There is no news on Jude Bellingham, everyone knows he is going to be expensive and other clubs are interested. It is probably unwise to assume who will become the new owners of Manchester United. They are still in this process and very interested.

Nanjelouis: Can we have a Liverpool WhatsApp group to chat and update other fans around the world?

ID: It’s a bit out of my jurisdiction, sorry.

Ynwa1986: Hi Ian. I won’t question Jude Bellingham, but is there any truth to the interest in Asensio? ID: It’s a name I haven’t heard of yet. It is worth mentioning that Liverpool have a longer than usual list in terms of goals due to the increase in the number of variables – where they end up in the table, the funds they have, requests from other clubs, the impact of the World . So backers may need to keep an open mind in the coming months.

Gordonlechef: Why do you suspect that the search for the sports director took so long? If we are to believe that Ward’s work will continue until the end of the year, Klopp and company will then take into account their player profiles, will the new sporting director have nothing to say about those players? Seems like odd timing based on the information we’ve gotten so far.

ID: Liverpool are continuing to assess the best match for the sporting director role, with the process overseen by Klopp and CEO Billy Hogan. Anfield sources have long insisted Paul Mitchell, who is set to leave Monaco, is not being considered for the role. It’s also worth pointing out that Julian Ward will continue to work on player recruitment until he departs in the summer and that most of the deals signed in the next transfer window will likely be largely down to Ward’s bases. Klopp has the final say on signing players, with the recruiting team focusing on them. Ezramorrison: Useless discussions and parleys. It doesn’t change the fact that we’re still going to catch up for each window. And after these questions and answers? Is Klopp providing the necessary funds? Will the FSG change its approach? Will Liverpool have new owners capable of competing in the market? The answer is no. But status quo.

ID: One day Liverpool will have new owners. Klopp will receive funds this summer, but as I don’t know the exact funds he wants, I can’t respond on his behalf. Conversations and discussions are never useless as long as they get things done. Klopp explained a few weeks ago that Liverpool had been talking about the summer transfer window since September.

Stilly: I’m sick of the constant Bellingham clickbait messages. never happened We only pay the money if he has £60m. Why the constant fantasy? We need 4-5 players this summer. What planet is the Frugal Sports Group spending so much money on? would like to see it #FSGOUT. ID: Hi Stilly. Liverpool have been interested in signing Jude Bellingham for almost a year. It’s not fantasy – it’s a fact. Although Liverpool will need a number of new players this summer, the departure of many big earners should not pose salary problems, and of course transfer fees can be spread over several years. I wouldn’t be too downcast just yet – Liverpool know they need a big summer in the transfer market.