We’ve been asking the fans who they think have been the best signings of the summer. This is your list and this, is your number 10.
There was a lot of criticism when Jurgen Klopp decided to continue the trend of Liverpool’s shopping in Southampton, especially considering Sadio Mane set the club back £30million – but the prices of players since and the way Sadio has settled has made many re-align their judgement on this transfer, and so, he just makes it into our top 10 of the transfer window.
Mane is a young, quick and hungry versatile forward. He has all the ingredients to succeed under Klopp, and the early signs are good for Liverpool fans. His goal on his debut against Arsenal was quite something, using his blistering pace and determination to power through the Arsenal defence and perhaps most impressively, finishing with aplomb. Liverpool will certainly need his goals if they are to seriously contend for a top four spot.
At The Emirates he was constantly back and helping Clyne, and he managed to make 4 tackles, winning the ball high up the pitch and again putting the pressure straight back on Arsenal – he did this particularly well in the second half. This industrious style showed that Mane is capable of adapting his game to suit Liverpool’s style of play and brand of football under Klopp.
Mane is just 24 years old, so Klopp has signed a talented player, young enough to be moulded into a forward that fits his ideology and then play his prime years at the club.
You could say he has replaced Jordon Ibe in the Liverpool squad, who completed a £15million move to Bournemouth this summer. So is Mane an improvement? Well 4 years older, he is certainly more of a finished product. The Senegal international is a massive goal threat and scored 0.38 goals per 90 minutes last season, this is massively better than Ibe who managed just 0.08. Mane was also ahead in terms of assists with 0.21 compared to Ibe’s 0.15. An area where Mane falls behind Ibe is in terms of successful take ons: although he managed a good 2.67 per 90, Ibe’s statistic was quite remarkable, managing a huge 4.51 per 90 minutes.
Crucially Mane appears to have a much better end product and that is what’s important. This is again highlighted by his 52% shot accuracy in comparison to Ibe’s 33%.
Mane was Liverpool’s main investment this summer and although their decision to pay £30million for Mane has come under criticism, I think he will turn out to easily be worth that amount of money in this current market. Another player you could say Mane has replaced is Cristian Benteke who joined Crystal Palace. Although I believe Benteke is a useful striker, he didn’t fit Klopp’s system, they sold him for £32million and managed to bring in Mane for less, and he is a player that I feel can thrive at Anfield.
Because of his age, as was the case with Benteke, I do not think Liverpool would have any trouble in recouping most of what they paid should Mane fail to succeed under Klopp, but I am confident he will.