Three former Liverpool stars who showed the grass isn't greener away from Jurgen Klopp as Sadio Mane finalises Bayern move
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Three former Liverpool stars who showed the grass isn't greener away from Jurgen Klopp as Sadio Mane finalises Bayern move

Sadio Mane is expected to complete his £35m move to Bayern Munich from Liverpool today and the Senegalese international will be hoping to replicate the success he had at Anfield in Germany.

Since his move from Southampton in 2016, Mane has been a rip-roaring success on Merseyside and he has delivered countless big moments under the stewardship of Jurgen Klopp.

The 30-year-old has won all the big honours with the Reds and he will undoubtedly leave a big void in Klopp’s forward line, despite the big-money addition of Darwin Nunez.

With his contract set to expire next summer, the man who scored 120 goals for the Reds, has decided to embark on a new chapter in Germany.

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Under the tutelage of Klopp – the African Cup of Nations winner has become one of the deadliest forwards in Europe, but after playing under arguably one of the greatest man managers the game has ever seen – is Mane guaranteed to be a success for the Bavarian giants?

At the age of 30, Mane remains at the peak of his powers, but he’ll have to adapt to Julian Nagelsmann’s new methods and with Robert Lewandowski intent on leaving the Allianz Arena this summer – Mane could be joining a Bayern side that are in the midst of a transitional period.

Mane could fire Die Roten (The Reds) to glory both domestically and in Europe, but after winning the Bundesliga ten years in a row – Bayern’s success is likely to be measured on their performances in the Champions League.

Liverpool’s former number 10 has shown throughout his career he’s the man for the big occasion, but his move to Bayern could be seen as a risk.

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Mane’s blistering pace and work rate perfectly suited the all-action style of football Klopp implemented on Merseyside, but time will tell whether the Bayern system will be tailored to the former Red Bull Salzburg forward.

Mane isn’t the first star name to take the plunge and leave Klopp’s Liverpool side, but there are former Liverpool stars who showed the grass isn’t necessarily greener.

Former Liverpool stars who showed the grass isn’t greener

Phillipe Coutinho

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The Brazilian magician was the first big name to leave Liverpool during the Klopp era and like Luis Suarez and Javier Mascherano before him – the lure of joining Barcelona proved just too irresistible to turn down.

Prior to departing for the Nou Camp in a deal worth £142m in January 2018 – Coutinho had submitted a transfer request in an attempt to engineer a move to the Spanish giants.

The attacking midfielder’s best football to date undoubtedly came under Klopp at Anfield. From 89 games played under the German – Coutinho scored 37 goals and provided 22 assists.

While the Reds used the money to sign Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, Coutinho struggled to shine in Catalunya and never reached the same influential heights that he produced with great regularity on Merseyside.

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With the Nou Camp faithful growing increasingly frustrated with Coutinho’s inability to live up to the whopping price tag – the Brazilian international put his fingers to his ears in response to fan criticism after scoring against Manchester United in the Champions League.

After being part of the side that crumbled and squandered a three-goal lead in the Champions League semi-finals against his former club Liverpool, Coutinho joined Bayern Munich on loan a few months later.

He did win the Champions League with Bayern, albeit as a bit-part player, scoring twice against Barcelona in an infamous 8-2 Champions League quarter-final in 2020.

But there was seemingly no way back for Coutinho with Blaugrana and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard signed his former teammate on loan for Aston Villa at the start of the year.

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The Villains have since made that move permanent by paying Barcelona £17m and with the World Cup on the horizon – Coutinho will be hoping to move on from his nightmare in Spain.

Coutinho thought he could take his career to the next level by joining Barcelona, but in the time the former Inter Milan ace departed Anfield – Liverpool have become a better team who won the Champions League and Premier League without him.

Emre Can

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Just months after Coutinho’s departure, Germany international Emre Can left Anfield on a free transfer after opting against extending his contract.

The all-action powerful box-to-box midfielder was a key part of Klopp’s Liverpool side, but his last appearance came as a substitute in the 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

After four years at Liverpool, the former Bayer Leverkusen man who was signed by Brendan Rodgers joined Italian giants Juventus on a lucrative deal.

Despite being a key part of Massimiliano Allegri’s title-winning side in his first season with the Old Lady, Can fell out of favour under former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, starting just two games, and he was left out of the Champions League squad.

A loan move, which was later made permanent, to Borussia Dortmund has helped Can get his career back on track but he could have remained at the heart of Klopp’s engine room if he decided to sign a new contract at Liverpool.

Gini Wijnaldum

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Like Can, Wijnaldum also decided to leave Liverpool as a free agent and he joined Paris Saint Germain last summer in the same window the Parisians announced the signings of Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes.

Despite Barcelona chasing his signature, the Netherlands international opted to join the mega-rich Qatari-backed side.

However, after being a regular under Klopp, the 31-year-old started 22 of 38 games under Mauricio Pochettino, in his first season at the Parc des Princes.

With the World Cup just months away, the former Newcastle United man was left out of the most recent Holland squad by Louis van Gaal.

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He was also awarded the unwanted gong of Ligue 1’s ‘Flop of the Year’ by Get French Football News, after a difficult fist season in the French capital.

With two years left to run on his PSG contract, Wijnaldum will be hoping for a prominent role next season and with Pochettino set to depart, the 86-time Netherlands international could well become a vital part of the star-studded Paris Saint Germain.

But for Mane – Wijnaldum is the most recent Liverpool star who has shown the grass isn’t necessarily greener when you make the brave decision to part ways with the great Klopp.

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