Although many Liverpool fans might be devastated at the news, the choice to replace either Mane or Salah this summer might be a good move. Swapping out the more expensive, seasoned players, for younger and cheaper alternatives could be for the best.
Despite Mane helping Liverpool to gain a crucial win against Aston Villa recently, there has been news that Bayern Munich has their eyes on the 30-year old star for this summer, hoping to make him their standout transfer for the year.
Will He Stay Or Will He Go?
This comes at the same time as the end of Mane’s contract approaches, which is set to run out at the tail end of next season. However, there has been little news on negotiations to renew his contract. If this continues, Liverpool may be backed into a corner and pushed into considering offers from other teams or risk losing the former Southampton star for nothing. Speculation has been growing this year that the AFCON champion might be ready to move on from the Reds sooner than they might like.
Despite Mane’s continued success throughout the AFCON which suggests he is still a top-ranked player, it seems that Liverpool has started to look into the prospect of replacing him. This is evident through their signing of Colombian winger Luis Diaz back in January. Diaz is likely to be in competition with Mane throughout the season for a chance to play left wing for the rest of the season.
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Competition Is Healthy
Although captain Jurgen Klopp might insist that competition between players is healthy and could very well push for better results from both teammates, even with Mane’s integral position on the team, Klopp still has to look strategically at Liverpool’s numbers over the last few seasons.
Back as far as just two seasons ago, Sadio Mane was making an average of around 0.82 assists or goals per 90 for Anfield. However fast-forwarding to last season, this number dropped to just 0.61 per 90, while currently, it is sitting at the lowest point yet, at just 0.48 per 90.
Put simply, Mane is now performing just shy of half as productively in regards to his goals and assists for Liverpool currently compared to just two years ago. If you want to see him in action yourself, buy Liverpool tickets and make up your own mind on whether the Reds should be keeping him on for another season or selling him on.
As it stands, it looks like Mane is the player who is building the most interest from other clubs. Barcelona as well as Bayern Munich have both been roumoured to be investigating the possibility of taking on Mane, and would greatly benefit from taking on a player with a reputation as one of the world’s best attacking players.
Although it does look like the most obvious move from Liverpool at this point is to keep Salah on, turning him into the highest-paid player the club has ever had, deciding to let go of Mane is a big one.