It’s already official. Sadio Mané has completed his move from Liverpool to Bayern Munich and has already been unveiled as a Bayern player. He’s signed a three-year deal that will keep him in Munich until 2025 after six well-decorated seasons playing under Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside. It’s one of the biggest transfer in recent years for not only just Bayern, but for the Bundesliga as a whole.
Of course, English pundits have questioned Mané’s rationale for choosing to leave a Liverpool side that so nearly clinched a historic quadruple of silverware this past season while he’s quite arguably still within the pinnacle of his playing career. His contract at the club was coming to an end next summer and he had not agreed on a new deal, having his heart set on coming to Bayern for the next chapter in his career.
On a recent appearance on TalkSport Radio (via Football365), former Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City, and West Ham striker Trevor Sinclair explained why he feels Mané ultimately made the decision to leave Liverpool for Bayern. He chalked it up to three separate reasons that all boiled down to him feeling the Senegal international was not as properly rewarded when he should’ve been, making him feel like it was time for a move.
“This Sadio Mané transfer is obviously universally accepted now he’s left Liverpool Football Club as a club legend. But I keep on hearing some fans and ex-players saying ‘I don’t know why he’s left?’ Let me tell you why he’s left. One, I don’t think he’s ever been lauded and appreciated at the football club like Virgil van Dijk or Mo Salah. Two, the fact that Liverpool let his contract go down to the last year kind of suggests that that’s how they felt about him,” Sinclair ranted.
Liverpool face a similar situation with Salah and the fact that he is entering the final year of his contract with the club. Despite making it clear he would be playing for Liverpool this coming season, it still remains to be seen whether or not he will eventually sign a new deal for the club. He’s often the one to get the majority of plaudits ahead of Mané, and Liverpool fans can, and will, remember Mané’s rift during the 3-0 away win at Turf Moor against Burnley from the 2019/20 season where he was infuriated that he was lambasted for not passing the ball to Salah when the latter wasn’t questioned for doing the same exact thing. The two both later confirmed it was just a momentary reaction from Mané and that there was no bad blood, but fast-forwarding to now, it can be viewed as slightly indicative of the pecking order at Liverpool.
The African Cup of Nations also affected Liverpool. Both Salah and Mané were away with Egypt and Senegal respectively for as long as possible, as both of those nations made it to the final of the competition. Klopp has often been vocal about his disdain for fixture congestion in the Premier League calendar with all of the different domestic and European cup competitions attached, so it came as little surprise when he questioned the timing of the AFCON.
Sinclair feels that Mané didn’t take too kindly to Klopp slightly belittling the tournament. “Three, I think the main thing is that Jurgen Klopp lost him when he came out and belittled the AFCON tournament which his manager (for Senegal) Aliou Cisse had to come out and defend the AFCON and said ‘you were coming second until our African players started playing for you,” he said.
“Mané is a man of principles, you’ve seen him buy hospitals, buy schools and all the rest of it in his home town of Senegal and it’s for these reasons I feel Sadio Mané’s thought, ‘You know what, I’m going, I’m leaving the club.’ He’s had a good time, he’s been a club legend but I don’t think he could play on after that,” Sinclair concluded.
Interested in further discussion of the impact of the Sadio Mane transfer? Look no further than our podcast! In this special edition reaction show, we talked about everything from the impact of his signing on the club’s finances, to where he could play on the pitch. Listen to it below or at this link.