On the main, Sadio Mané has really been enjoying life at Bayern Munich thus far after moving from Liverpool during the summer transfer window. He was Bayern’s marquee signing in a strong window and he’s shown little signs of struggling to adapt to head coach Julian Nagelsmann’s system after six years under Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside. But it hasn’t all been rosy red for Bayern’s new striker and, ever his own first critic, Mané is now getting some encouragement from the bosses.
So far this season, Mané has found the back of the net five times in nine appearances across all competitions. With that said, between Bayern’s last three Bundesliga matches and their Champions League win over Inter Milan, Mané has failed to register a single goal or assist — his last direct scoring contribution coming in the 5-0 win over Viktoria Köln in the DFB-Pokal. It’s not for a lack of effort, but it is a drought of sorts — and, along with his tendency to end up called for offside, cause for concern at least among the fans and the media.
Sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Saliahmidžić is confident that the drought is only temporary. “There were two games that didn’t go the way he imagined,” Brazzo explained, speaking on Sport1’s Dopplepass over the weekend (via @iMiaSanMia). “Sadio is his own biggest critic, but I have no doubt that he’ll play better again.”
His coach has been just as supportive. In the press conference previewing the Champions League clash against Barcelona, Julian Nagelsmann also touched based on Mané’s constantly striving nature, but nevertheless backed him for all his good work since arriving in Munich.
“He’s self-critical, maybe a bit too critical at times,” said Nagelsmann of his new forward, as captured by @iMiaSanMia. “He needs to be even more self-confident and not think too much. I am not critical of his performances and still looking forward to him exploding here. In principle, I’m happy with the job he’s done so far.”
For what it’s worth, goals and assists aren’t the end all be all when it comes to assessing overall effectiveness and Mané is the type of player that can create chances for his teammates. And as he’s still one of the first names on the team sheet, we can expect the production to return soon as well. The Bayern brass certainly do.