After Liverpool FC confirmed Mane’s new 5 year deal on Thursday evening, the Reds can now celebrate having all of our prolific front three tied down until 2023. This is after Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino both signed new deals within the last twelve months to keep them at the club for the next 5 years.
Due to this excellent news, now would be a great time to review the influence that the Senegalese forward has had on the club and the fans who have grown to adore him.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Liverpool have maintained a notorious interest in a fair few Southampton players over the years, so when the Mane rumours showed up in the press, it was of no surprise to the fans. A few days after the rumours had broke, Mane was a Red. In June 2016, Liverpool splashed out £36 million pounds, a club record fee at the time, to bring the winger to Merseyside from the South Coast. Mane had a rather successful spell with Southampton, playing 61 times for the Saints, scoring on 21 occasions, and broke the Premier League record for the fastest hattrick while at the Saints.
The former Austrian League champion became the most expensive African player of all time when the transfer was confirmed. He created plenty of excitement around Anfield when he arrived as in previous years he always seemed to perform well against the Reds, scoring a brace and the winning goal in a 3-2 victory at Anfield.
MANE’S FIRST SEASON
To say Mane’s first season was excellent would be an understatement. The 26-year-old fit in straight away at the club and instantly became a fan favourite after he scored a lovely curled effort against Arsenal in a 4-3 win which turned out to be the decisive goal. He then became an even bigger hero after scoring a late goal against Everton in the Merseyside derby in December. This famous goal at Goodison, resulted in the creation of the “Merry Christmas Everton” song.
Mane had a very successful first season with Liverpool and was integral to the form that resulted in the Reds securing Champions League football. In the 2016/17 season he made 27 appearances for Liverpool, missing some games due to injury. When the Senegal international didn’t play for the Reds in the 16/17 season, the team’s performance levels dropped. This showed just how much of an important player he was in the 16/17 season. Mane scored 13 goals in the league and assisted 5, and his excellent form resulted in him winning LFC player of the year.
MANE’S SECOND SEASON
Mane carried his electric form into the 2017/18 season. He played a massive part in filling Coutinho’s void after he left for Barcelona; however, by the end of the season, this vacancy didn’t seem so big, as the Brazillian wasn’t missed that much by the Reds. Mane linked up with Firmino and new signing Mo Salah to create arguably the best front three in world football. The trio scored 87 goals between them in the Champions League and Premier League in Sadio Mane’s second season.
His numbers, in terms of goal contributions, in the EPL weren’t as good as the previous season, but were still impressive, with Mane scoring 10 times and assisting 7 times, meaning his numbers fell by only 1. However, he was on fire in the Champions League for the Reds. He scored 10 goals and got 1 assist in just 11 games in Europe, averaging 1 goal contribution a game. He was integral on the road to Kiev, bagging an impressive hattrick in a 5-0 victory against FC Porto. Mane also scored the equaliser in Kiev before Madrid ran out as eventual winners.
Mane not only showed his importance once again for Klopp’s side with his eye for goal, but also demonstrated the ability to pick out a teammate. He gelled with the front three and established himself as one of the best wingers in Europe.
MANE SO FAR THIS SEASON
Mane once again has been immense for Liverpool. He got off to a flyer on the opening day of the season after scoring a brace in a 4-0 victory over West Ham. There have only been 13 games so far, and Mane has already half of the goals that he scored in the Premier League last season, notching 6 so far. Mane has also scored in the Champions League this season, coming in the 4-0 victory against Red Star. He grabbed his first assist of the season in the most recent game against Watford as he put the ball on a plate for Mo Salah to put the Reds in front.
The only way I could describe Mane so far is that he’s been magic. He’s shown his qualities in front of goal, whether it be through scoring or assisting, and his turn of pace is excellent, along with his terrifying dribbling. He’s been vital to Liverpool ‘s success in the last 3 seasons and if he had to be given a grade it would definitely be an A. Silverware would make it an A+. Reminisce on all his goals for the Reds so far below. I’m sure there’ll be plenty more to follow.