Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mané is no Robert Lewandowski, and we all knew that before he even joined the club. In fact, nobody on the planet is like the Pole, who is one of the most complete No. 9s to have ever graced the game. However, Bayern knew what they were looking for when they swooped in to sign the Senegalese star. And boy, has this signing looked good.
Having netted five goals in eight appearances so far this season, Mané’s on-field contributions go far beyond the stat sheet... his work in the buildup, his positioning, and his movement off the ball to create space for his teammates are facets of his game that are as clear as day. ICYMI, here’s a film room analysis of Mané’s off-the-ball work against Inter Milan in the UCL.
Sadio Mané is a wonderful personality. He is a leader in the attack, and his hunger to strive for better and to rack up more wins rubs off his teammates. Even the fans love him, and he expresses his appreciation for the fans with heartfelt gestures, like when he celebrated his first goal and debut game with the fans and ultras.
Meanwhile, Liverpool, who have signed Darwin Nuñez and Luis Diaz to bolster their offense, still look quite headless. The club has had a horrendous start to their Premier League campaign, and their form in the UCL doesn’t look any better. Granted, they faced a pretty sharp Napoli side on their first game, but few would’ve predicted an absolute bloodbath at the hands of the Partenopei. The Liverpool defense was caught snoozing countless times, with the offense disappearing in a night where firepower was dearly missed.
It’s not that Liverpool don’t have great attacking options. Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino, Darwin Nuñez, and Diogo Jota were some of the potent weapons they had at their disposal against the Italians. However, their attack still failed to produce, and they were schooled by Luciano Spalletti’s side. Which begs the question: Was Mané carrying Liverpool’s attack? Was he the primary reason why Mo Salah looked so good?
Here are some fan reactions from Twitter that might answer the question:
Sadio Mane was Liverpool's best player this whole time but the media won't talk about it. pic.twitter.com/ikX0Juo6tR— Temporary Frozen Stan (@I_DB_35) September 3, 2022
Sadio Mane was carrying liverpool all this while. pic.twitter.com/lv6RPjpgop— TrollFootball (@TroIlFootball) September 3, 2022
Liverpool sans Sadio mane null pic.twitter.com/3WfmBanfsK— DA_BAKHH ⭐️ (@Aziz_Ndiay) September 3, 2022
Mané was undoubtedly a crucial part of Liverpool’s machine during their peak years. One could argue that he was their most important player during both their UCL winning run and their Premier League title-winning season. In fact, many Bayern fans would probably (not so fondly) remember the time Mané helped Liverpool knock die Roten out of the UCL with one of his best-ever performances. Yes, that is what the Merseyside outfit is missing at the moment - their clutch wide-forward. Their X-factor.
But as they say, one person’s loss is another’s gain. In this case, Bayern looks good so far at this end of the bargain. At the other end meanwhile, lies a dumpster fire.