By repeating that a player is undervalued, one tends to oversell him. Sadio Mané is probably the exception that confirms the rule. Underneath it, it is. Because his game lends itself less to Youtube compilations than others, because his pure stats are not worth those of today’s other cyborgs and because the Senegalese never made waves but made a lot of differences. Surprised, it is not: if Bayern agreed to pay close to 40 million for a player who only had a one-year contract, it was because the game was worth the candle.
No doubt about it: the big winner of the case is the Bavarian club. At 30, Sadio Mané is no doubt at the height of his career, in a form of fullness that his past season has only accentuated. The tightrope walker on the left turned into an unprecedented playmaker: moving technique, intensity of all moments, lethal passes towards the dragsters Salah and Luis Diaz and leadership of all moments. What to inspire a new song on the side of Anfield, after the box office of the one sung in 2019. Here are the words of the new opus, on the air of Money, Money, Money by Abba.
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“Mane, Mane, Mane, Sadio Mane, he’s playing Mane, Mane, Mane, Sadio Mane, plays for Liverpool. Ah ha aaa, all the things he can do. We have Sadio Mane Mane, he plays for Liverpool “
“All the things that can do …“. These are the words that best sum up Mané. And it’s almost a surprise. When the Senegalese landed at Anfield from Southampton for 41.20 million euros, he is a spectacular player, “Frequent bursts but regularity still uncertain. Above all, he arrives after the XXL Christian Benteke and Andy Carroll failures. So, of course, the fear of the flop lurks for Reds fans.
Carragher’s tweet, Mané’s regularity
“When Mané signed, I gave my opinion on this deal on social mediaJamie Carragher told the Telegraph last May. ‘I think 41 million is expensive’: that’s what I wrote. This tweet has aged badly, as have all the responses approving of this finding. There was a consensus that he was overpaid“Six years later, of course …”Whatever the price paid, it was a real deal“.
During these six years, Mané will become a total player, with equal performance regardless of his position. In addition to his first season, he has consistently played more than 45 games per season. In Klopp’s heavy-metal football, with a game that prepares for coups and therefore have injuries, it is a performance that stands out. He will never be reluctant to defend and if Robertson appears stronger than Alexander-Arnold defensively, it is also because the Senegalese will have made the necessary efforts. The icing on the cake, the timing of his pawns has often weighed heavily: since 2016, only CR7, Benzema and Lewandowski have scored more than him in the final phase of C1.
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Collective, it will have been. Undoubtedly one of the reasons for the current situation. His mirror on the right, Mohamed Salah, ended up permanently embodying these Reds. At a time when a strategic turn has been made at the Mersey club, at a time when it has been necessary to leave the place to a new generation, it is the Senegalese care that has been sacrificed. His starting desires played out, of course. But while he had the 12th salary in the locker room (!), He never received the sign of affection expected from his management for a contract extension. Divorce quickly became evidence. While, for Salah, the discussions were open. Hard to put the main headline on the door. A little less freedom is the best lieutenant.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Credit: Getty Images
Salah rather than Mané… even for the Ballon d’Or
A glaring symbol of the lack of economic, political and media recognition he suffers from. This season, at the dresser class, they favored them for the Golden Ball, the English bookmakers had a systematic system placed Mo Salah in front of Sadio Mané. Proof that football often stops at the borders in England and the CAN and the qualification for the world lion obtained from the Lions of Teranga did not have a difficult finality against the exploits of Pharaoh Salah in the Premier League, yet disgusted twice in selection.
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In the Ballon d’Or rankings, Salah has become a habit, the kind of player who forcibly squats the Top 10 with his delirious stats and who goes up or down depending on the performance of the Reds (6th, 5th, 7th). Mané, on the other hand, has only overtaken him once, in 2019, after leading Liverpool to the top of the table in C1, finishing as co-top scorer in the Premier League and being a CAN finalist. Moreover, in 2019, Virgil van Dijk received the most votes in Liverpool in the golden election. Like what, a defender may be sexier than a striker.
Basically, Mané doesn’t stick to the needs of the time. But that is also why it has become a special place in the European landscape in recent years. The doctrine is simple: “I’m Sadio Mané and I’m doing Sadio Mané, which means I’m more erased.“He told France Football last March. Simple but terribly effective. It would be a matter of not forgetting it …
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