Sadio Mané talked about his goodbye with Jurgen Klopp as he joined Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The player leaves Liverpool after six years.
If you could pick out one moment that truly transformed Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, it would be six years ago when he signed Sadio Mané from Southampton. It was a transfer that completely rejuvenated the Reds’ attack.
Before that, Klopp had used Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana as his forward options. While all four were fantastic players, the attack lacked pace – particularly out wide. Liverpool needed more energy, more pace and more dynamism up top to make Klopp’s system work.
Mané delivered it all. In one player, the Reds found someone who made them a proper threat on the counter-attack while also offering the pressing Klopp wanted. Suddenly, everyone could see exactly what Liverpool would be under the German.
Six years on, it’s safe to say Klopp’s plan worked. The Reds needed a second winger to help Mané – Mohamed Salah has done that okay – but that initial plan has led to every major trophy available to Liverpool.
Wednesday, though, saw the inevitable happen – the club had to say goodbye to Mané. He joins Bayern Munich before entering the final year of his contract in one of the hardest departures in recent memory.
And we imagine it was most hard for Klopp. This, after all, is the first time he loses one of his key players against his will, right when he’s playing incredible football.
Mané talked a bit about Klopp in his first press conference with Bayern on Wednesday. He explained what the goodbye was like, saying that the boss does understand his decision.
“Klopp was a little bit sad but wished me all the best,” he said, per the Athletic. “I’ll always be grateful to him.
“I spent six wonderful years in Liverpool with very nice people and great fans. They were not happy that I left but that’s a part of life, I needed a new challenge.
“Klopp is a very good guy, he wanted me to stay but understood my situation. We achieved everything at Liverpool.”
And what more can you ask for? Mané really did achieve the lot with Liverpool and together with Klopp, provided exactly what the club needed.
So we wish him the absolute best at Bayern. Well, nearly the best – can’t say we’re backing them for the Champions League next season.