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Are you happy about Sadio Mané?


After missing out on number one target Mario Gotze, Liverpool reverted back to the tried and trusted method of "come on lads, let's go shopping at St Marys". Sadio Mané this week became the fifth recruit from Southampton in two years and also the third most expensive signing in club history. Is it good business? Three of our writers weigh in...

I’m not happy about a lot of things at the moment. Recent events within the World have shaken my faith in humanity and common sense. As for LFC, if we were a couple we still wouldn’t be talking and one of us would still be sleeping in the spare room.
 
Finishing 8th, and effectively giving up on European competition via league placing, was okay with me as long as we went and did the job in the Europa League final. We didn’t and all of the team’s flaws were brutally exposed when it mattered once again. So we gave up on the league and then the team gave up against Sevilla; not a great way to head into the off-season.
 
The club merrily claps its hands on social media about the new expansion of Anfield – an expansion that most of us won’t sit in unless we’re prepared to go corporate but expect us to be fired up about it. Hey don’t worry, though, here’s a big money signing on the horizon, riding to our rescue to give a bit of lift for the comi… oh no wait, it’s another Southampton player. 
 
Dave’s often made the joke in the TLW diary about our scouts having their Excel spreadsheet stuck on the Southampton tab but at this point I genuinely have given thought to it being true. We went from Gotze to Mane in less time than it takes a seagull to swoop in for a rogue sandwich on the seafront. Gotze seemingly not fancying playing for a team that’s not playing in Europe - the legacy of the failed Europa League campaign? Well let’s see how Manchester United recruits before we trot out that old line. 
 
Sources from the club have briefed that Klopp thought about signing Mane at Dortmund, but didn’t, and that reads like a deflection of any transfer committee mutterings. Quite frankly I’m all tired out about wondering who signed which player and who wanted what player. The club’s course of ‘young and not quite an established star’ is well set now, the manager is the star apparently but he’s not preventing Moreno from crumbling in big matches. Moreno’s replacement being mooted as a 19 year old from Leicester’s reserves that Klopp’s mate likes. So yeah, Klopp had better well be the star because there’s no one on the playing side right now.
 
No I’m not happy at the moment, Mane’s signing doesn’t excite me but that’s my problem more than his, I’ll just have to work my way through it. 
 

Julian Richards

@Juleswithnoname

 
 
Over the past couple of seasons there have been no shortage of supporters and commentators pointing out that one of the issues with Liverpool is putting that round thing in the other team's net. We've not been that great at it. A common theme has been watching players who have rated from the very good to the quite mediocre all not quite doing enough to have 'keepers turning around to fetch the ball for a restart.
 
Coutinho and Lallana, both very good footballers, offer you many things but the nagging doubts about them consistently giving you the numbers, the pure hard numbers, still linger around them. Well that's what Mane puts at the top of his CV: “I do the numbers”.
 
Over the course of the last two seasons the Senegalese forward has been going at a rate of 0.4 NPG90 (Non-Penalty Goals per 90 minutes), or in possibly simpler terms – he'll score you a goal every 2.5 games without taking penalties. To put that into some context that's around the same number as Diafra Sakho, Vardy and Defoe have managed, and it is superior to the output of Rooney, Lukaku and Pelle. When you consider that more often than not he isn't even playing as a centre forward the figure looks even more impressive, and highlights why Liverpool aren't the only club to have been looking at him.
 
Stepping outside of his Premier League performances gives you nothing to suggest this sort of form isn't sustainable. He scores a goal almost every 3.5 games for Senegal and in his time at Salzburg he was going at a rate of a goal every other game. Throw into the mix that he chipped in with six assists last season (only the top ten players in the league did more than 8) whilst also being one of the better dribblers in the league, completing two a game, and it's a convincing package.

 

 
Some transfers can leave you scratching your head as to how a player fits in with a team, or with a manager's philosophy and tactics, but this clearly isn't one of those times. Klopp wants a high energy team and he wants players that are capable of breaking lines, pressing and producing a bit of the unexpected. Mane seems to tick most of those boxes to varying degrees.
 
At this point in time most fans are probably of the opinion that anyone who Klopp decides he wants to be a part of his plans for the future is alright with them, and that they'll trust the manager's judgement on players, which is fair enough. It's hard to make an argument that in this case the outlay of  around £30m (which may be a common sort of figure thrown around for much lesser players in this window) seems to be backed up by a fair weight of evidence.
 
Hopefully come this time next year the only discussion of money regarding the lad will be which song with the word in the title we'll be using as his song. Let's hope it just isn't Notorious B.I.G's “Mo Mane, Mo Problems”, eh?
 

Stu Montagu

@SimianJustice

 

 
 
I’ve got mixed feelings about it. He’ll certainly bring something we don’t have but I’m not sure he’ll ever be seen as “money well spent” because of how much he’s going to cost. Granted, the new TV deal changes the landscape on transfer fees and in a few years time £30m will be seen as the norm, but right now it feels like Southampton have pulled our pants down again.
 
Similar to Adam Lallana I suppose. He’s a good player, he’s done a nice job for us, but he cost £25m and you expect more for that kind of money and that's a big dark cloud over his head that follows him everywhere and influences how he's judged by a lot of fans.
 
I fear that we'll always be saying that about Mané too, but hope I'm wrong. Even if he replicates his Southampton form here it won’t make him worth £30m so he’s going to have to keep improving. It's not unreasonable to assume he will, as Klopp's record in that regard is very good. While costing a similar fee, Mané is far less of a risk than Andy Carroll and Christian Benteke were, simply because he fits into the style of play and won't be asked to completely change who he is, so comparisons with the twin towers aren't applicable. 
 
I like what he brings to the forward line in terms of his pace and goals because we don’t have enough of either. Ings and Origi have both but are more suited to playing as the central striker, and of the group of players who fill the three positions behind, they either don’t score enough or lack the speed to stretch teams.
 
Lallana, Coutinho and Firmino are all relatively similar in terms of what they want to do, but Mané is completely different. Klopp was probably hoping that Jordon Ibe might be that player but his form dropped off a cliff and his days look to be numbered now.
 
Mané has apparently played for a coach (at Salzburg) who is similar in style to Klopp so he shouldn’t have too much trouble fitting in, and if he can get us a dozen goals from out wide (which presumably is where he’ll mostly play) that represents a significant upgrade on what we’ve been getting. One negative I've noticed is that he's a rampant diver - even worse than his Southampton team-mate Shane Long - and he'll need to scale that back a bit.
 
If we’re mostly playing 4-2-3-1, ideally you’d want 20-30 goals from the centre forward position (spread out between whoever plays there) and you’d want double figures from each of the three who play behind. Coutinho can just about manage that, perhaps Firmino will too (although a large chunk of his goals last year came when he played up front), so if Mané comes in and continues where he left off at Southampton that should help us get better. Whether that's worth £30m depends on just how much better he makes us.
 
 

Dave Usher

@theliverpoolway

 

 

 


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270 Comments

Somewhere between "He's good but overpriced" and "Meh".

 

We do/did need some direct, quick, wide players, and he is that. Whether he's quite good enough time will tell.

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He's exactly the type of player we needed as he will add the attributes that our attack did not have last season and he'll complement Coutinho and Firmino well as he's someone who always tries to get in behind. Personality wise, he's also a salty cunt who visibly hates to lose and has lots of ambition, which we also need.

 

But the most important thing is that he is a great counter-attacking player and that he has played in a high pressing team before, meaning that he is perfect for Klopp's system. All in all, it's a transfer that just makes sense. The fee is high obviously, but if he performs like he should, no one should care. 

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He's good, a player that there is a need for in our team but you just think he'll have to be Coutinho/Sturridge/Suarez levels of good to ever justify giving £34-36m to a direct league rival with way-better scouts, a club which probably lists us behind the tv deal as their largest income stream.

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i like the fact he has pace, and hope that Klopp can get the best out of him. i feel we have massively overpaid but maybe this is the new norm for prices. anyway i will wait until he is warming up in our first friendly until i call him a shit cunt waste of money.

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Meh

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Went with good but overpriced, even though it's not really the overpriced bit that bothers me but rather whether we could have done better with that money. I would myself have preferred Dembele or Brahimi but Mane is not a bad option.

He reminds me a lot of Luis Garcia, albeit with more pace. His runs in behind defensive lines are excellent and he's almost certain to provide a decent goal return as a result. He can also be a quite exciting player to watch at times. The rapidity with which he can reach full speed from a stand still position is unrivalled in the league in my opinion. He can really leave defenders for dead with a simple change of direction.

However, like Luis, he can also be infuriating. He can get dispossessed a bit too easily at times and if I'm not mistaken he is one of the players with the most unsuccessful touches in the league. Under Rodgers I wouldn't have felt too confident with this signing, but the improvement of Firmino, Origi and Allen under Klopp, who were all prone to getting knocked off the ball before his arrival, makes me more hopeful. 

If Jurgen can make him stronger in possession, I reckon Mane could be even more than just a good signing. In fact, his strengths and weaknesses are not all that different from Aubameyang's prior to him going to Dortmund.

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He is overpriced even if you take into account the hyper-inflated nature of the transfer market. That said, he has got attributes that our attack has been lacking but his general game seems much more suited to the squad we have and the way the manager likes his teams to play, compared to last year's big money signing Benteke.

 

Jurgen Klopp doesn't seem to be the type of manager who shoehorns players into positions that take away their strengths and highlight their weaknesses, so I don't see Mane being asked to play as a wing-back for example. Mane does need to improve his consistency and that will be helped immeasurably if the players around him show the right attitude, endeavour, consistency and ability.

 

I still think the biggest benefit to the team would come from signing a midfielder who can dictate the tempo and bring real game management skills.

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He is overpriced even if you take into account the hyper-inflated nature of the transfer market. 

 

I keep reading this, but what price were people expecting to pay for Mane?

 

He's proven in the league.  He's got an impressive goal & assist record.  He's at a good age.  He had a few years left on his contract at Southampton.  Then you add the new TV contract where all clubs have far more funds, so don't need to sell and players in the league will cost more than in the past.

 

It's the going rate really.

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Going with Stu on this one & really pleased with the purchase. 

 

Don't feel the Premiership Tax on this buy is that high ( Being generally reported at £30m now ) that it should impact on future summer targets, and you could argue that he will be covered by Benteke / Ibe sales and also reduce the wage bill.

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I think outside the box. 49% agree with me.
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Perfect for Klopp's system. Good player too.
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Honestly don't know why we buy in England. Everyone is grotesquely overpriced, don't we have scouts and shit?
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Honestly don't know why we buy in England. Everyone is grotesquely overpriced, don't we have scouts and shit?

 

That's why we got Grujic, Karius & Matip.

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Honestly don't know why we buy in England. Everyone is grotesquely overpriced, don't we have scouts and shit?

 

Batshuayi is joining Chelsea for 40m euros and Dortmund had a 36m euro bid rejected for Karim Bellarabi. No matter where you are buying from, talented 22-26 year old players are going to cost a lot.

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Like all our new players, I prefer to watch them for at least half a season before casting any sort of judgement.  It's how they perform for us that's important, and let's face it, apart from the obvious dolts like Balotelli, it's not easy for most of us to judge how a player is going to do.  Not that it stops anybody, mind.

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I think outside the box. 49% agree with me.

 

I prefer to be outside the box pissing and shitting in all directions.

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Batshuayi is joining Chelsea for 40m euros and Dortmund had a 36m euro bid rejected for Karim Bellarabi. No matter where you are buying from, talented 22-26 year old players are going to cost a lot.

 

One of them sounds like a Japanese graphic novel and the other like a Jane Fonda character.  Have you got a girlfriend, son?

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I voted he's what we need. He has pace, goals, assists, a good record over several seasons. We need that type in the side, as the interest in Dembele and Sane showed. They are both less proven, though probably have higher ceilings if they progress as expected, but unfortunately we couldn't get them. 

 

In an ideal world the price for Mane would have been lower, but I don't know what price we were hoping for in buying a player of that age, quality, record, with years on his contract, from another Premier League team. It was always going to cost a decent whack. 

 

If we did all of our shopping in the Premier League I would question it. But "overpaying" on Mane (I actually think it's the going rate, obscene as it is) is offset by the canny acquisitions of Karius, Matip and Grujic - though the latter is young and unproven as yet, though highly rated. 

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Bit unsure on it because it feels like we've been here before but maybe that's because of who we bought him from rather than who we've bought.

 

He's pacey and scores goals so he fits the bill of who you'd probably want. 

 

He'll need to score more though.

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He's a Klopp type player, he's lightning quick, skilful, and strong. So fuck yeah, I'm happy.
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I would have rather if we had gone for Götze and he seems a bit on the pricey side. I'm reserving my judgement on him.
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I'm ok with it. We needed a player like him last season, and now we've got him, albeit at an exorbitant price.

A solid midfielder that can shield the defence and a left back that's not prone to monumental lapses of concentration and we're good to go.
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Massively over priced, decent enough player but he comes across as a wanker I suppose he'll fit right in then.
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If Klopp wants him then that's all that matters he's obviously a bit overpriced but that's to be expected buying from another Premier lge club but I'm ok with it , it does show that fsg are backing the manager in the market
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Couldn't give a fuck about the price any more I just want to get a decent player not another fucking Balotelli, 

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