It was with somewhat of a heavy heart this week that I watched Sadio Mane leave Liverpool and sign for Bayern Munich.
The Senegalese striker has been brilliant for Jurgen Klopp’s team, arguable his best player over the past 12 months, and although I really didn’t want him to go, I wish him nothing but the best in the Bundesliga.
It also marked the end of Liverpool’s famed three-pronged attack that has served them so well in the past.
Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino remain at the Reds, for now at least, as Mane plies his trade elsewhere.
He’s not the first big name to leave Liverpool, and he sure as hell won’t be the last, but maybe he should have given a little thought to those that have left before him, heading off to pastures new.
We can start with Philippe Coutinho who in the January of 2018 swapped Anfield for the Camp Nou fulfilling his dream of playing for Barcelona.
Many Liverpool fans, myself included, were extremely disappointed the ‘little magician’ had forced through a transfer, but things didn’t work out all that well for the Brazilian.
He scored just 17 times in 76 appearances before being loaned out to first Bayern Munich and eventually Aston Villa, a deal that was made permanent last season.
Emra Can is another whose life after Liverpool took a similar path. The German midfielder ran down his contract and left Liverpool for Juventus at the end of the 2018 season.
Again his career stuttered, scoring just four times in 37 appearances over two years in Italy. He too was loaned out to Borussia Dortmund where he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.
The final member from Liverpool’s ‘want away’ trio is Gini Wijnaldum.
In June 2021 he signed a three-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain where he has played just 31 times and scored only once.
Things have gone so bad for the Dutchman he was even linked with a move back to Liverpool last week, although I can’t see his former club entertaining such a thought.
So there’s three top class players who, in their prime, decided to cut ties with Liverpool and head to what they believed at the time were better clubs. And all of them may well in the cold light of day be having second thoughts.
I’m not suggesting that Sadio Mane’s move will produce the same negative result. He is, after all, a better player than the above mentioned three.
And I really hope he does well, albeit not in competitions involving Liverpool in the future. Liverpool will be OK without him I’m sure.
In Luiz Diaz they have an amazing talent, Diogo Jota is class and don’t forget the small matter of record-signing Darwin Nunez.
Maybe life without Mane won’t be such a bad thing after all. VNS
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