Sadio Mane - don't know what you've got til it's gone

football17 March 2023 05:00

Liverpool: 196/90
Premier League titles (1): 2019/20

With Sadio Mane, it was probably a case of Liverpool not knowing what they had until he was gone.

The Senegal international striker has been sorely missed at Anfield this season following his switch to Bayern Munich, having been a massive part of the club’s recent success.

His pace, skill, finishing quality and vision made him one of the standout players in the league over a number of seasons and it has been a battle to replace him.

Mane first arrived in the Premier League when he joined Southampton from Austrian club Red Bull Salzburg for £11.8-million ahead of the 2014/15 season, and scored 21 goals in 67 games for The Saints.

He moved to Liverpool two years later for £34 million, a healthy profit for the south coast club, but still a snip given the value he would bring to The Reds on the pitch. It was a fee that made him, at the time, the most expensive African player ever.

He netted a modest 13 goals in his first season but still made the PFA Team of the Year (selected by journalists), and along with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino made up the so-called ‘Fab Three’, the most feared forward line in the Premier League.

He shared the Golden Boot award with Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 2018/19 campaign, won the Champions League and the following year helped Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years.

He continued to bang in the goals but made it clear at the end of 2021/22 that he was ready for a fresh challenge and made the switch to Bayern.

Mane also won the FA Cup and Club World Cup with Liverpool, and in all made the PFA Team of the Year on four occasions.