Liverpool has announced the signing of Southampton forward Sadio Mane on a five-year contract following his medical and completion of other formalities.
The Merseyside outfit has agreed to pay £30million which according to BBC could potentially rise to £36million for their long-term term target, making him the most expensive player in the club’s history.
The club hierarchy, however, insists that the all-inclusive deal for Mane will not exceed £30million. The terms between the two clubs were agreed last week, but Southampton requested to delay the transfer until they complete the signing of Nathan Redmond.
He is the fourth player to join Jurgen Klopp’s side before the start of the new Premier League season.
Last season, Liverpool had their sights firmly set on the Europa League with the Merseyside outfit even going past the likes of Dortmund and Villarreal before losing out to Sevilla in the final.
Klopp managed to reach the Europa League final with the players acquired during the Brendan Rodgers era, so imagine what he could achieve with his preferred players in the Liverpool lineup. It’s worth noting that Klopp has been a long-term admirer of Mane, a player he once attempted to sign during his stint at Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool’s recruitment team also considered making a move for the Senegal International before he joined Southampton from Red Bull Salzburg for £11 million two years ago. However, the Merseyside club has ended up paying nearly £20 million more for the 24-year-old who shone ever so brightly for Southampton.
Mane completed his medical on Monday, paving the way for the transfer to go through on Tuesday.
There’s no doubt about the fact that the Senegal forward is an overwhelmingly talented footballer and as he shone ever so brightly for Southampton under the guidance of Ronald Koeman.
He currently holds the Premier League record for the fastest hat-trick ever scored in the League after netting three goals in two minutes, 56 seconds against Aston Villa in May 2015.
Let’s find answer to an interesting question
Could Mane be a potential icon at Anfield?
Answering yes to the above question may look like an exaggerated opinion, but there are substantial reasons to believe that Mane will succeed at Anfield.
With immense speed, technique and ability to drive forward as the key attributes, Mane has proven to be one of those midfield players with a real eye for goal as he bagged 11 goals for Southampton apart from making six assists in the recently-concluded Premier League season.
Why Jurgen Klopp Needs Him
Liverpool has been without a real goalscoring threat from the middle of the park despite having an army of attacking midfielders ever since Raheem Sterling secured a big money move to Manchester City. But by the looks of things, Mane may very well prove to be a viable replacement for Sterling.
Klopp may face somewhat of a selection headache when Liverpool’s Premier League campaign begins, as Liverpool already boast of the talents of Phillippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, and Roberto Firmino, with the attacking triumvirate featuring for the Reds on a consistent basis last season.
Coutinho, Lallana, and Firmino are quite versatile as they can be deployed on the flanks or behind the striker. Mane also possesses the versatility required to play in both wide and central areas or as a more orthodox centre-forward. So depending on how impressive he can be in his first couple of games, he may get the nod ahead of Lallana or Firmino.
What position in Squad Will Suit Him?
Mane will most definitely be more effective playing on the right flank as it will give him the freedom to utilize his blistering pace and bag some goals and assists. His immense technical proficiency will also help him in his attacking exploits as he’ll be able to wreak havoc on defences from the right flank.
Klopp could also opt to play Mane as a false 9, as the German Tactician didn’t seem to have any issue with throwing Firmino upfront on many occasions last season. Although it seems gravely unlikely that Sturridge will be relegated to the sidelines if he’s fully fit.
Throughout his career, Mane has proved that he has what it takes to play at the highest level and coming into an ambitious side such as Liverpool, he may very well be on his way to winning some accolades.
Klopp has the zeal, drive, and determination to achieve big things with his Liverpool side and with Mane set to feature for the Reds next season, Liverpool may just find themselves fighting for a top four spot.