Liverpool star Sadio Mane is set to join German giants Bayern Munich and whilst his exit will sting, the sale indicates the next stage of Jurgen Klopp’s plan for the Anfield outfit
Liverpool fans will no doubt be hugely disappointed at seeing Sadio Mane leave Anfield.
The Senegalese forward has joined Bayern Munich in a £31m deal and has penned a three-year contract at the Allianz Arena. His departure brings to an end a trophy-laden spell with the Reds having won practically every domestic and European title on offer to him.
However, it appears that Mane’s sale ushers in a new era under Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside and one that should see them continue their successful period under the German. With Mane now on the wrong side of 30 and having just one year left on his contract, it made sense for the Reds to move the forward on.
However, the club were not just content with sticking with the options that they already had. They moved to sign Mane’s potential replacement in the January transfer window with the arrival of FC Porto star Luis Diaz.
The Colombian enjoyed a hot start to life at Anfield having played a pivotal role in the club’s pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple. In the meantime, the Reds have even gone one further this summer with the potential club record arrival of Benfica hotshot Darwin Nunez.
The Uruguayan arrives at Anfield at just 22 years of age but with a lethal reputation behind him as a result of a 34-goal season with the Portuguese giants. His tender years would not only allow him to pick up the mantle left behind by Mane but also play a pivotal role in the Reds’ attack for a number of years to come. Meanwhile, the current Reds’ boss already appears to have put a plan together to find the successor to Liverpool’s midfield crown – Borussia Dortmund starlet Jude Bellingham.
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That constant evolution after immediate success is an ideology driven home by Klopp. Even the Reds’ dressing room are aware of the dangers of standing still in an environment such as the Premier League. Speaking after winning the FA Cup against Chelsea last season, Trent Alexander-Arnold warned that the Reds cannot afford to rest on their laurels like fierce rivals Manchester United have been guilty of doing in the past.
He said: “Growing up, I remember looking at Man United and thinking what it would be like to be them going for league titles every year, Champions League trophies every year. So to be able to do that now and be involved in it is something we can’t take for granted.
“I’ll use Man United as an example again, now, they’re probably thinking, ‘We shouldn’t have taken that sustained period of success for granted because now it seems like we’re far away from it’.
“For us fans and players, we can’t get complacent and just get used to it, we have to really still enjoy it and keep our expectations where they need to be. We’ve got to enjoy the game for as long as we can because it won’t last forever.”
The comparison drawn by the Liverpool star is certainly a useful one. The Red Devils last won the Premier League in 2013 and despite spending huge fees in an attempt to recapture their former glories, their approaches to the transfer market have been more focused on rebuilds as opposed to evolution. It is a tactic that has not yet born fruit for any of the club’s succession of managers since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.
To little surprise, the Scot was a huge advocate of steady evolution during his hugely successful time at Old Trafford. On numerous occasions, the Red Devils would enter the market for an expensive addition just to strengthen their squad even further.
So whilst some Liverpool fans will be distraught at the prospect of seeing Mane turn out for another side in the immediate future, his departure is the start of a new chapter for the Reds – one that Klopp will hope sees them remain at the top of the domestic and the European game.