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My (Probably) Bad Take: Sadio Mané is a surplus buy

Has he been worth the 30 mil?

FC Bayern München v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

When Sadio Mané arrived from Liverpool FC as what was Bayern Munich’s marquee signing, everyone was excited to see what the ex-Southampton man can bring to the Allianz Arena. While he has done well, it probably wasn’t enough or it hasn’t aligned with people’s expectations.

So, let’s see why bringing Mané to Germany hasn’t yielded the output we wanted:

An uncaged beast on the bench

As we all know, Cameroonian striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been a serviceable backup for Robert Lewandowski before the latter moved to FC Barcelona. When that happened, Bayern were on the hunt to find a direct replacement for the prolific Pole and landed a deal with the Reds of Merseyside for Mané. But little did we know that Choupo would explode on the scene late into the first half of the season.

For a stretch of games right before the World Cup, Choupo has averaged one contribution (goal/assist) for every game he’s played and had Bayern’s front office offer him a new deal…which hasn’t progressed since. Choupo’s gameplay suits the team’s playing style too.

Tel us more

Bayern also managed to sign 17-year-old Mathys Tel from Stade Rennais for just under what they paid for Mané, and he has proved that he’s got the chops to lead the Rekordmeister’s attack. Coach Julian Nagelsmann can develop youngsters into world-beaters and Tel is certainly headed in that direction.

Formation change

Speaking of Nagelsmann, he has been trying all sorts of formations to find one that makes the team click. For the start of the season, he used a 4-2-2-2 with Mané partnered by someone up top and the Senegalese winger was excellent in this role.

However, Nagelsmann shifted back to a 4-2-3-1 but still used Mané at striker, who by himself in attack wasn’t the best idea as he can get bodied by opposition defenders. Now, he could play at the wings but he faces stiff competition there: Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, or even Thomas Müller (if he’s not at CAM or striker himself).

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