Former Liverpool player Dean Saunders has claimed that Jurgen Klopp will find it impossible to replace Sadio Mane.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Saunders claimed that the Liverpool star is irreplaceable for what he brings to the team.
“I think he’s irreplaceable,” he said. “I would argue the fact that he’s in the top three players in the world right now. Salah, Mane, who would you take? De Bruyne?
“As a striker, I watched him at the Champions League final, he finds little pockets, he drifts in from the wing, he drifts inside, his legs are like concrete, strong, he’s quick as lighting, he scores goals.”
Saunders claimed that while Luis Diaz looks like a good fit to step into his shoes, Liverpool should do all they can to keep Mane.
“Diaz is a good replacement, but they’ve just got to give him (Mane) what he wants,” he said. “Liverpool are doing really well at the moment and losing someone like him could knock them sideways.”
Mane looking for a new challenge
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be as simple as giving Mane what he wants. That’s because what he wants is seemingly a new challenge.
The 30-year-old is apparently ready to try something new in his football career. If that is the case, then all the money in the world won’t be enough to convince him to stay.
As was the case when Liverpool picked up Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in 2020, sometimes players just want to have a change of scenery.
After six years with Liverpool and winning pretty much everything there is to win, it’s understandable that Mane wants a fresh challenge.
Replacing the irreplaceable
Saunders is right about one thing though. Mane really will be so difficult to replace.
It isn’t just his goals that make him such an important player for Liverpool, although he gets plenty of those too. But more than that, it’s his constant availability, his determined aggression, his versatility up-front and his personality within the squad.
Mane has been at Liverpool longer than most of the players around him. Not only will it be difficult for a replacement to fill his shoes on the pitch, but they’ll have to replicate what he brings off it, too.
Diaz has gone some way to ensuring that Liverpool already have Mane’s favoured left-wing position covered. But they’ll need to find a player who can do it all across the front-line.
They’re not so easy to find.
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