After weeks of negotiation, Liverpool have today announced the signing of Sadio Mane from Southampton. The fee is rumoured to be an initial £34 million with the potential to increase by a further two. Interestingly, this does not approach the £40 million which Southampton had previously seemed to be reluctant to shift from, with the two clubs instead appearing to meet in the middle.
Signing on a five-year deal, it is not only hoped that Mane will be performing to a high level at Anfield for that duration and potentially beyond, but may also act as a deterrent for sharks circling around him in the future, should his high-level displays continue in a red shirt.
Sadio Mane has become Liverpool’s fourth signing of this summer window, after Joel Matip and Marko Grujic joined the ranks following agreements made during the course of the last campaign, and the young German goalkeeper Loris Karius arrived to rival Simon Mignolet’s number one berth. Like the previous three, the 24-year-old forward has joined the club before the start of pre-season, so can bed himself in with the rest of the squad, with this hopefully being conducive to a smooth start to life at Anfield.
Liverpool’s new number 19 has become the Merseyside outfit’s second most expensive signing, just ahead of Christian Benteke (£32.5 million) and behind only Andy Carroll (£35 million). All those with Liverpool in their hearts must certainly be hoping that Sadio Mane’s Anfield career follows a completely different path to the aforementioned pair, and does not flop because of the huge price-tag.
The move seemed to be on the cards ever since The Saints signed Nathan Redmond from Norwich City a few days ago, as this switch paved the way for Sadio Mane to move away from the club. Of course, the English youngster is unlikely to be able to immediately replace all of what Sadio Mane provides, but has the potential to grow into a top player.
Mane is in good company making the trip north from the south coast, as he joins the influx of players coming to Merseyside from St. Mary’s, after Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert had all made the switch in the last two years. Bar Rickie Lambert, all of these have now grown into key members of the Liverpool side. Lallana and Lovren had to endure a rather painful teething period, but hopefully Mane can match Clyne in being an instant hit under Jurgen Klopp.
With 15 goals and nine assists to his name last year, it is clear to see what Sadio Mane will bring to the men in red – attacking guile and end product in the final third. Notably, three of these league goals came against his new side, so Liverpool and Klopp clearly valued the contribution he can provide, having observed it at close quarters. The 24-year-old has also notched up 21 league goals in 67 appearances for Southampton over the two years that he has been plying his trade on the south coast, showing that he is now well accustomed to life in the Premier League.
So, where will Mane fit in at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp? Of course, only time will tell, but you cannot imagine that he will be anything other than an integral member of the first-team, given the magnitude of the fee that was required to bring him to Anfield.
Given Mané’s exceptional versatility across the front line, this acquisition may spell the end for Christian Benteke, as the Senegalese speedster is more than capable of playing as a centre-forward, and with Firmino also impressing in this role during 2015/16, there seems to be little room left for the burly Belgian number nine.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the news:
As always, there was discussion over the fee…
— FM Saints Researcher (@MatthewLeGod) June 27, 2016
United buying Mkhitaryan for the same fee Liverpool are spending on Sadio Mane. Madness
— CD14 (@c_d_14) June 28, 2016
£49m for Raheem Sterling puts £30m for Sadio Mane into perspective, especially considering Sadio Mane is the better player
— Moves_Like_Salah (@MovesLikeSa11ah) June 26, 2016
The signing excited some Liverpool fans…
If Troy Deeney is said to be worth £30 million, then you can't argue with Sadio Mané's price tag. At 24, he is the perfect Klopp player #LFC
— Sam May (@Sam95May) June 27, 2016
Sadio Mane: Different, versatile, speedy option for #LFC. Will add another dimension to the attack. Needs consistency, but has high ceiling
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) June 27, 2016
Some expressed caution…
Sadio Mane set to be next in a long line of failed overpriced Liverpool strikers.
— Mike (@u_onlylivetwice) June 27, 2016
And the omens aren’t that great for Mane…
Sadio Mane becomes the third Senegalese in #LFC history after Salif Diao and El Hadji Diouf. Has to be third time lucky.
— Artur Petrosyan (@arturpetrosyan) June 27, 2016
Particularly as he seems to have been a back up target behind some big names…
Although some Kopites don’t mind…
Mane pushed for the LFC move. Götze called us a step down from a bench. Some of you are fuming over Mane but would still chase Götze?! #LFC
— Keri (@KeriAnnGregory) June 27, 2016
That’s despite Saints fans missing him already…
— Alex Crook (@alex_crook) June 27, 2016
While others were looking forward to the big money being reinvested…
£32m transfer fee for Sadio Mané, I'll personally drive him up north for that! #Saintsfc
— talkSAINTS ??????? (@talkSAINTS) June 26, 2016
And others were just more concerned about Liverpool coming back for more… Again…
Liverpool still raiding Southampton.. What a legacy Rodgers left behind
— Zaid (@zaidy93) June 28, 2016
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