Sadio Mané becomes the latest player to learn the hard way that life after Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp is not as easy as they might have hoped.
It’s been a dramatic week for Liverpool fans. After the thrill of Sunday’s comeback draws against Arsenal, it was back down to earth with a thud just days later as this rollercoaster of a season hit yet another dip.
With Tuesday’s reports seemingly confirming that the Reds will not be in the market for Jude Bellingham this summer, the heat has been turned up on the club’s owners FSG considerably. After all, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder had long been touted as the ultimate target for Liverpool.
Instead, John Henry and co face something of a make-or-break summer. With Bellingham not arriving at Anfield, they now have to deliver on multiple signings that will improve on what has been a dreadful season.
With his first-choice transfer now out of the equation, Jürgen Klopp will have to turn his attention toward other targets, and it’s imperative that FSG — and whoever follows in Julian Ward’s footsteps — delivers whatever he asks for.
The club’s owners simply cannot afford to do wrong by the Germans once again. Klopp is under contract at Anfield until 2026, and on the face of it, his relationship with the owners has rarely been under scrutiny. But another failed transfer window could run the risk of putting doubts into the mind of the 55-year-old, and leave him questioning whether he is still at the right club.
Make no mistake about it, Liverpool will be much worse off when Klopp does decide it’s time to leave. The Reds have one of the world’s best managers in charge, and that has only become clearer this week.
When Sadio Mané chose to leave Liverpool last summer, despite being a heartbreaking moment for many, it was also seen as an understandable decision on the Senegal international’s part. He had won everything he could with the club and could take his pick of teams for a new challenge.
Unfortunately, things haven’t quite gone to plan for him. Just 11 goals in 32 appearances for Bayern Munich and a lengthy injury lay-off on either side of the World Cup came as a disappointment, but worse was to come this week.
Mané has now been suspended by his club after reportedly punching teammate Leroy Sané following Bayern’s defeat to Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final.
It’s the latest setback in what has been a tough first year away from Anfield for the 31-year-old, and it’s yet another reminder to any current Liverpool player potentially eyeing up a move this summer that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Mané becomes the latest player to decide on a move away from the Reds, only to find life much more difficult, following on from the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Philippe Coutinho, and Emre Can, among others. And of course, it’s no coincidence that they have struggled without Klopp there to lead them.
The German is among an elite group of managers. He has turned a club once struggling to recapture its former glories back into one of the best in the world and made superstars out of its players in the process.
There are very few in the business with that sort of power, and FSG would be best served to deliver on his demands this summer. As things stand, we’re set for three more years of Jürgen Klopp — we certainly don’t want any less.