Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates their second goal against Burnley
Liverpool have allowed star striker Sadio Mane leave after six years at Anfield. Image Credit: AFP

Much of why Liverpool have enjoyed tremendous success over the past six years is down to one man. No, not Mo Salah, and not coach Jurgen Klopp. It is the brilliance of Sadio Mane that has helped bring silverware to Anfield.

But the Senegalese international has been allowed to leave and joins Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga. You can almost hear every other team in the English Premier League breathing a huge collective sigh of relief. They will be glad to see the back of Mane as this will leave a huge gap in Liverpool’s attack next season.

Top level

Sure, they have brought in Darwin Nunez from Benfica for an astronomical £85 million. But the Uruguay star is unproven at the top level. He will need time to settle down in his new surroundings before Liverpool are to see the best of him. And by the time they do the Reds could be well off the pace in the title race. It is a huge risk but the deals have been done and there is no going back now.

Mane established himself as a club legend. He arrived from Southampton in 2016 and has since lifted the Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, and Champions League with the Reds. Many say he was catalyst for Liverpool’s rise in recent years and it would be hard to argue against that when you look at his stats. He scored 120 goals for them and got 38 assists in 269 games. Only Salah has more goals with 156.

The fans loved his style of play. He was relentlessness and would chase anything that moved and was key in Klopp’s pressing style. The team will have a new look attack next season with a frontline of Nunez, Salah and Luis Diaz - but they will miss Mane’s qualities.

Signs of decline

They have collected £30 million for the 30-year-old who had a solid 2021/22 season. Some feel he was showing signs of decline but he still managed to score 21 goals across the Premier League, Champions League and the two domestic cups. That’s a brilliant return. Where would Liverpool have been without him in the team? They may have missed out on the league title by just a point but had he not been around they would have finished a lot further behind eventual winners Man City.

Liverpool fans will hope Nunez picks up where Mane left off - but that is wishful thinking. They may need to lower their expectations a fair bit. Who knows, they could even regret selling him...