Jurgen Klopp has identified Sadio Mane as a priority target for the summer as he attempts to make the Senegalese forward Liverpool’s second summer recruit. Manchester United are also scouting the 25-year-old in a bid to increase their options up front.
In his ten months in-charge at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has already signed a midfielder, defender and a goalkeeper. The German has now sounded out Southampton’s Sadio Mane as a possible addition for the Reds as he looks to add more sting and pace to his attack. Following the departure of Ronald Koeman to Everton, the Senegalese forward could be available to Jurgen Klopp at a price of £25 million, which is reasonable given what he has to offer.
The Reds have been linked with Mane since the start of the window, however the Daily Mail believe that the Reds are set to step up their pursuit of the player with Manchester United also interested in the player. Mane moved to the Saints back in 2014 completing a £11.8 million transfer from Red Bull Salzburg after two impressive seasons in the Austrian Bundesliga.
Southampton are attempting to avoid yet another mass exodus at the club, with Mane seemingly set to take the exit door following the footsteps of Victor Wanyama and manager Koeman. The 24-year-old, should he complete the switch to Merseyside, will be the fifth player to take the now well-trodden path from St.Mary’s to Anfield. He’ll join a club of ex-Saints players in Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne who all swapped the south coast for Liverpool in 2014.
He has been an impressive performer under Ronald Koeman at Southampton and has scored 25 goals in 75 appearances in his two seasons in the Premier League. The Senegalese also broke Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler’s long-standing record of the fastest hat-trick last summer, when he single-handedly demolished an Aston Villa side with a 2 min 56 second hat-trick.
Is Mane a good acquisition for Liverpool?
The Reds are not short of numbers for the strike role with as many as four players in Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Christian Benteke and Danny Ings eligible to take that spot up-front for Klopp’s side. However, it’s a matter of quality for Klopp, as none of the above featured in a regular role in attack for Liverpool with Ings, Sturridge and Origi all falling to injuries and Benteke seemingly out of favour for the German.
His strengths are clear for anyone who has watched him. He has pace and skill matched with the ability to finish. He often leaves defenders panicking at his ability on the ball and the pace with which he bursts through. On his day, he is a match-winner and a world-beater, but the key to that claim is ‘on his day’.
As observed in the comparison metric above, he has all the abilities Klopp would expect out of a prospective attacker in his system. His ability to press high with pace and intent, to tackle and win back possession and an eye for putting away his chances is what makes him one to watch out for opposition sides.
With Sturridge often susceptible to injuries and Benteke likelyto leave the club, Mane will come in as a good addition in attack for Liverpool. However the issue with Mane as mentioned earlier is his consistency. A world beater on one day, Mane is capable of disappearing off course on another and in a season where Liverpool have only domestic honours to fight for, a lack of consistency could cost them their prospects of securing any silverware.
If not for his inconsistency, Mane is a perfect addition to Klopp’s system and could make a world of difference in a squad with few notable match-winners. With no European football on offer, let alone Champions’ League, Klopp has little incentive to offer prospective signings this summer and will have to snap on whomsoever he can lay his hands on. Loris Karius, Joel Matip and Marko Grujic have already made their switch to Anfield and should Mane follow suit, he could be the German’s fourth acquisition this summer.