Leroy Sane is the perfect example of what might happen if Jurgen Klopp splashes the cash to sign a top-class forward in order to provide competition for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

The German international is one of the best forwards in all of Europe but has found himself on the bench at Manchester City more than he would like and a lot more than a player of his pedigree deserves to.

Sane scored 20 goals and assisted another 14 last season despite playing fewer than 2500 minutes all season, averaging a goal or assist every 72 minutes, which is incredible.

Leroy Sane.

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Man City via Getty Images

Mane, who is world class in his own right, scored 27 and assisted just two, averaging a goal or assist every 155 minutes.

This article isn’t about Mane being less prolific than Sane but more about how Liverpool’s reported interest in signing Nicolas Pepe could prove to have a negative effect on the squad as a whole.

 

Sane has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich in recent weeks and while there is no resolution in that transfer saga, his desire to leave Manchester City should be a warning for Jurgen Klopp.

Keeping Pepe happy, who seems likely to cost more than the £70.9m the Reds supposedly bid at the start of June, according to L’Equipe, will be difficult given that Mane and Salah both play over 4000 minutes every season.

Nicolas Pepe.

Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Origi, who is now a cult hero at Anfield, played a miserly 586 minutes last season and if Pepe moves to Liverpool, he’s likely to play more than him and Xherdan Shaqiri who only appeared for the Reds 28 times.

That said, top forwards crave playing time and with Pepe absolutely destined for the top, keeping him happy will require constant game time.

Keeping him and the other forwards at the club happy while achieving results is an impossibly difficult equilibrium to maintain but it’s something that needs to happen for Liverpool to win the Premier League and the Champions League next season.

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