After Sadio Mane’s bright start to the 2022/23 season for Bayern Munich, the juxtaposition of expectation and reality has become a tad bit convoluted. Between the DFL-Supercup win over RB Leipzig and Bayern’s opening three Bundesliga matches, Mane tallied a total of four goals and also grabbed one in the DFB-Pokal first round win over Viktoria Köln. Since then, he’s gone on a scoreless run for Bayern amidst their rut in the Bundesliga, where they’ve gone four matches without a win, recording three draws and one loss in that span.
Alarmingly, during that stretch of domestic matches, Bayern only scored three goals despite registering over 90 chances — a statistic that speaks volumes with how poor the finishing has been from the attacking players. It’s not just Mane that’s at fault, but Julian Nagelsmann has often been using him as Bayern’s most advanced attacker, so there’s a conscious focus on him, especially being the signing of the summer, coming from an incredibly successful tenure at Liverpool.
Personally, Mane’s struggles were on full display in the 1-0 loss at FC Augsburg. He just didn’t seem to get his touch right in the final third, but it was not for a lack of effort. He’s since scored in one of Senegal’s friendlies during the international break, and Nagelsmann and company will certainly hope he’s ready to turn his Bundesliga form around. Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic believes he’ll be able to do so.
“Sadio still needs bit of time. He has to get used to the Bundesliga, but he will - I speak regularly with him,” Brazzo recently told Bild (via Fabrizio Romano). “Sadio is one of the best players in the world, we will still have a lot of joy with him,” he added.
For comparative purposes, in Mane’s first season at Liverpool after joining from Southampton (2016/17), it took him until match week 9 to register four goals and he went on to tally 13 goals and 8 assists from a total of 29 appearances. Mind you, Mane missed a considerable spell that season due to a knee injury and also missed a few matches in the winter while on duty with Senegal for the African Cup of Nations.