Jurgen Klopp admits that he got Sadio Mane very wrong when he initially saw him. It’s a decision that dates back to his Borussia Dortmund days.
Klopp was speaking as part of an upcoming documentary on Mane called ‘Sadio Mane: Made in Senegal’. The now-Liverpool boss says he first came across the winger some time ago but didn’t like what he saw.
“The first time I saw Sadio was in Dortmund,” he says, per an exclusive clip for Marca. “I saw a very young boy sitting there. He was wearing a rotated baseball cap and a blonde wick that he still has today. He looked like a budding rapper and I said to myself, ‘I don’t have Time for that’.
“Our team then was pretty decent. I needed someone who could tolerate not starting from the start. I was wrong with him.”
And how. Mane would initially make a name for himself at RB Salzburg before heading to England and Southampton. There, he bagged the goals that secured him a £34m move to Liverpool in 2016.
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What RTK has to say
Even he great Klopp can get things wrong then – and thank God he did. If Klopp had signed Mane for Dortmund, after all, Liverpool would have had a much tougher time in signing him.
In fact, he may have been an impossible target for Liverpool in 2016. We all know Mane is a superstar now and he just needed that extra push from a team at the top.
Liverpool gave him that but Dortmund would have done the same back then. So it’s not something we say very often but we couldn’t be happier that Klopp got this one so wrong.