Sadio Mané‘s 2016/17 season review and what to expect from him next season..
On the 28th of June 2016, Liverpool had completed the signing of Sadio Mané from Southampton for £34m, this was later increased to £36m with two million pounds to be paid based on performance related add ons.
Sadio Mané joined his former team mates Lovren, Lallana and Clyne, being the fifth player to join Liverpool from Southampton in the past two years (facts taken from 2016). Many fans were concerned and worried after seeing the initial price tag – with big money signings in the past not achieving a lot and underperforming to fan expectations; for example, Andy Carroll and Christian Benteke.
It didn’t take long for Sadio Mané to impress the fans at Liverpool, scoring his first goal within 15 minutes in a pre-season clash at Wembley Stadium against Barcelona, in the Reds 4-0 win. It was very clear he was a young and fresh talent, with a lot of potential.
Liverpool’s first game of the season looked difficult on paper, away at The Emirates, a ground the Reds had struggled at recently. Sadio would open his account for his new team with an absolutely outstanding solo goal which sent the manager as well as the travelling crowd wild.
It wasn’t long before Mané built a strong chemistry with Firmino and Coutinho, all three running wild in attack together. He had scored vital goals against teams like Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool started struggling in January, after Sadio Mané had departed from Anfield to help Senegal in the African Cup of Nations. This showed how much he was missed in the squad, Liverpool were knocked out of both the FA Cup and League Cup, as well as only picking up 3 points in the Premier League from four games (possible 12 points). He was also ruled out for the final two months of the season with an injury, which didn’t help Liverpool in their premier league campaign, just edging on Champions League football with a win on the final day of the season against Middlesbrough.
Sadio Mané was named Liverpool FC’s player of the season, proving his worth beating Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana and others to it. Even during his absence, he was admired and loved by the fans, with his name being chanted in the KOP almost every game.
After being ruled out and having no football action, hopefully Sadio Mané will take part in Liverpool’s pre-season campaign before the new season starts in August. With the Reds back in Europe, Mané being fit and ready for the season is crucial and very important.
In his first season under Jürgen Klopp at Anfield, he started 28 times, and came on once as a substitute, scoring 13 times and assisting 8 goals.
Three of Liverpool’s six defeats and three of Liverpool’s ten draws in the Premier League came in the absence of Sadio Mane.
What can we expect next season?
Liverpool will be expecting much more from Mané next season, with no African cup of nations taking place, provided he doesn’t get injured the Reds will have him for the whole season. This is a positive in itself, his pace, skills and ability to run at defenders and score goals will help Liverpool significantly, especially in the Champions League. In simple words, Sadio Mane is a game changing player.
More goals, and more assists is expected, from a player like Mané, this is a must. He should be pushing to help Liverpool win at least one trophy next season.
With the recent announcement of new signing Mohamed Salah, this makes me more excited about seeing him alongside Sadio Mané on the same pitch playing for Liverpool.
My Best moment: His goal vs Everton (away)
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