Sadio Mane started for Liverpool in the Reds’ UEFA Champions League loss to Real Madrid, and not even 24 hours since the defeat, the winger now looks set to leave the Premier League giants.
Fabrizio Romano took to Twitter to announce that the Senegal international has decided to leave Liverpool at the end of this season, with Mane not doubt set to go down in club folklore as one of the side’s best players in the modern era.
Sadio Mané has decided to leave Liverpool this summer 🚨🔴 #LFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 29, 2022
He’s ready for a new experience after many special years with Reds – it will be confirmed to the club.
FC Bayern are strong contenders – but it’s still open and not completed as Sadio wanted to wait for the final. pic.twitter.com/hr6R5NmuZ0
From winning the Golden Boot to scoring in a Champions League final and winning multiple accolades for Liverpool, Mane leaving the Reds will leave a huge hole in the squad for the Reds, and here’s what a potential starting XI could look like next season for Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Diogo Jota leads the line as Luis Diaz fill in for Sadio Mane
The biggest area of change with this starting XI of course comes in the attack for Liverpool, with Mane departing Liverpool leaving a massive void in both the left-wing and striker position for the Reds.
The 30-year-old attacker has recently switched to a centre-forward role for Liverpool, a decision that has proven to be fairly effective as Mane was one of Klopp’s most consistent performers and pulled a lot of the weight during Mohamed Salah’s phase of the season where the winger was out of form.
As for who can replace Mane, the obvious player to replace the African superstar is Diogo Jota, who this season alone bagged 21 goals in all competitions, 15 of which came in the Premier League as the Portuguese star asserted himself as Liverpool’s future leading striker.
With Luis Diaz taking the left-wing role for most of the second half of the season, the Colombian will reassert this position for the 2022/23 campaign as the January signing from FC Porto impressed massively in his first few months in England.
Andy Robertson retains left-back role with familiar midfield controlling the tempo
What made Mane such an effective attacker for Liverpool was in large part due to his relationship with the midfield and left-back Andy Robertson, and in our XI for next season, both roles remain largely unchanged.
The Scottish fullback is arguably the best in his position in world football, with Robertson playing a massive role in Liverpool’s run to the Champions League final in Paris and their success in both the League Cup and FA Cup, not to mention their close run with Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Robertson has impressed overlapping Diaz down the left, and if the winger can improve on his English and communication, the pair could become as deadly as when Mane was in the role for Liverpool, a prospect many supporters will be excited to see.
As for our midfield, Fabinho anchoring the centre of the park with captain Jordan Henderson commanding the XI and Thiago Alcantara doing his usual magic will work wonders next season with all three hitting the primes of their careers in the coming months.
Replacing Mane will be hard for Liverpool given his quality and legacy for the club, but with the Reds already putting in the work to make the transition as flawless as possible, the Merseyside giants will likely thrive even without the Senegal superstar amongst their ranks.