James Winstone discusses whether Sadio Mané can become world class after a brilliant first season which was cut short by injury.
Jürgen Klopp landed the ex-Southampton man for a fee of around £30 million last summer and the purchase has been one of the best Liverpool have made in recent years.
He has everything Liverpool have lacked for the past few seasons from pace to finishing and we haven’t had anyone like this since Luis Suarez left Anfield for the Camp Nou in Barcelona a few years ago. His debut season has shocked many as he’s already on 13 goals and 5 assists and didn’t look like he was slowing down at any point before his injury.
Jürgen Klopp himself and the Liverpool staff are both known to produce great players from nothing and make them into world class quality. A couple of examples are the Polish and Uruguayan strikers Robert Lewandowski and Luis Suarez.
The latter arrived at Liverpool quite young with a lot of potential but not the proven quality to achieve his dream of signing for Barcelona but with hard work from the player and Anfield’s staff he turned out to be one of the best footballers in the world and achieved his dream.
Lewandowski was also transformed in the same way but by Jürgen Klopp himself at Dortmund and is also regarded as one of the world’s best players. Therefore, with both Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool united as one there is no doubt Mané can go on the same pathway and become an unbelievable player.
During his previous times at his ex-clubs, he has proven to be a very promising player indeed. At RB Leipzig, Mané scored a total of 31 goals in 59 appearances, putting him amongst the most wanted youngsters in Europe and was seen as a clinical finisher.
He then went on to Southampton who picked him up for £11,8 million during the summer of 2014. Southampton fans quickly warmed to him when he managed to slot 21 brilliant goals in 54 appearances for the club. He even achieved a world record for the fastest hat-trick ever scored in the Premier League, beating former Liverpool man Robbie Fowler’s record.
Finally, during the summer of 2016, Jürgen Klopp decided it was the perfect time to sign Mané. Someone who he’d had on his radar for many years and, my word, has he been worth it. He’s already scored 13 in his first season which is just 8 short of his entire 2-year spell at Southampton and many believe he will do even better next season.
Unfortunately for Sadio, his recent injury he picked up during the Merseyside derby has put him out for the rest of the season due to him needing immediate surgery which has halted his progress. However, next season will be a real test for him if we can get Champions League football and are also aiming for the Premier League title as he’ll once again be desperately needed in our infamous front three.