Scott Groom explains why Sadio Mane’s contract extension comes as a relief and why it sends a message to the world of football.
It’s the news that every Liverpool fan has been longing to hear in recent weeks: Sadio Mané has finally put pen to paper on a new contract at Anfield, tying him to the Club until 2023.
He follows in the footsteps of his partners in crime, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, in committing himself to Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp’s vision and ends all of the quietly growing speculation that he was angling after a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
The 26-year-old has more than earned his new deal after scoring 40 goals and 18 assists in his 89 appearances in the famous Red shirt of Liverpool and has formed a formidable partnership with Firmino and Salah, making the trio one of Europe’s most feared and critically-acclaimed attacking forces.
And that last bit there, about Liverpool having such an array of talent in their side, is why Mané’s new contract is such a big deal for the future of the Club.
When Jürgen Klopp took over as Liverpool manager back in October 2015, he said he wanted to turn doubters into believers. He has also said, many times over, that he wants to remove the nature of Liverpool being a selling club.
The likes of Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres are all some of the best players to have graced the Anfield turf in recent years, and all of them share a common denominator: they were sold off to other big clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
That was the worry with the likes of the front three Klopp has assembled that they would, like Coutinho, attract the attention of some of Europe’s mega clubs and be persuaded to ply their trade outside of Anfield.
However, with these new contracts, Klopp has eradicated the desire of his top players to become want-away players who are simply waiting their time for their ‘dream move’.
This can only be a good thing for Liverpool as a whole. It shows that players are happy at the Club, that they believe in the manager and his vision, and ultimately can see themselves winning trophies during their careers on Merseyside.
The importance of this simply cannot be understated.
As much as players state their love for playing for teams but don’t get their hands on silverware, it will forever haunt players thinking on accolades they miss out on.
At the end of the day, nobody is remembered for the competitions that they didn’t win, but rather the ones that they did. And it’s what becoming a professional footballer is all about. Players want to be competing for the top honours.
Still focusing on Firmino, Salah and Mané, these are three players that could quite easily take their pick from football’s biggest clubs should they opt for a move away from Liverpool.
But they’re not seeking that move, which says that they think they’re on the brink of something incredible with Liverpool.
And the reason that it is vital for Liverpool to keep hold of their prized assets is that they’re not going to be able to compete for these honours without players like Sadio Mané. It’s a two-way street for sure.
Mané has been a pivotal member of the squad since his move from Southampton and seems to keep going from strength to strength, and we all want to see that type of form coming during his Liverpool career and not elsewhere.
The issue of Mané’s contract has rumbled on quietly for some time, so it is quite the relief for Kopites to see their smiling assassin finally get the contract signed, sealed and delivered so that he can build on the 146 goal partnership he has built with Salah and Firmino.
Now it’s all out of the way, let’s just enjoy having this wonderful footballer as one of our own.