Paul Merson has claimed that Liverpool would re-sign Sadio Mane ‘in an instant’ if he became available.
The Reds sold Mane for £35m this summer, following six glorious years at Anfield. In the six months since, Liverpool have looked a shadow of their former selves. Whether that’s down to to Mane’s absence or not is up for debate. But Merson certainly thinks it’s playing a part.
Writing his Premier League predictions for this weekend via Sportskeeda, the pundit says Liverpool made a huge mistake in selling him.
“I’ve been saying it from the start – selling Sadio Mane was a bad decision,” Merson writes. “If he came up for sale again, they’d buy him back in an instant. He was a massive part of that team and he didn’t get the credit he deserved. Liverpool sold one of their best players for hardly any money and it’s coming back to bite them.”
Mane decision out of Liverpool’s hands
Merson is right, he’s been banging this drum for a while. Perhaps even before Liverpool sold Mane to Bayern Munich.
But as to his wider point, he’s more wrong than he realises. Given the chance, perhaps Liverpool would bring Mane back, but it isn’t up to them. It never was.
The simple fact that Merson seems to be wilfully ignoring is that Sadio wanted to leave. Liverpool didn’t decide to sell him. The 30-year-old wanted to go. This is something that the pundit just doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge.
Anyway, ignoring all that, would Liverpool bring Mane back?
The short answer is probably yes. Jurgen Klopp was obviously a huge fan of his and he obtained legendary status during his time at Anfield.
It’s true that he wouldn’t fit the profile of the kinds of players the Reds are targeting. In fact, he’s probably the polar opposite.
But as seen in the willingness to give Roberto Firmino a new contract, Klopp sees value in keeping these older heads around. If Mane were willing to come back in a reduced role to bring through the likes of Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez, that would be perfect.
In reality though, that isn’t going to happen. Mane was reportedly after an enormous wage rise should he have stayed at Anfield beyond last summer. He still wants a key role in a big team, and is getting that at Bayern despite his current injury. For good or bad, Mane’s Liverpool story is written. And what a story it was.
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