Leaving the “safe zone” of Liverpool with the desire to make the last big turning point in his career, Sadio Mane certainly did not expect that the current situation could be this bad. In less than a year, what the Senegal star had most hoped for was shattered before his eyes.
A few days ago, Mane celebrated his 31st birthday. If in a different state, it must be the happiest day of the year for the former Liverpool striker. But no, how happy he was when he was just a reserve striker at Bayern – the team that used to lure him with sweet promises.
But it is also hard to blame Bayern, because no team does not use an excellent player. Mane isn’t brilliant now, he just used to be. The last goal Mane scored in the shirt “Die Roten” was from the end of October last year. Apparently, no one could be patient with Mane for such a long period of time.
At this point, someone would surely say that it was because Mane had a serious injury. Correct! That injury could be the turning point, ruining all of Mane’s aspirations after leaving Anfield. In his imagination, Mane must have thought of the prospect of stepping out of the shadow of Mo Salah, replacing Robert Lewandowski at Bayern and shining in the 2022 World Cup.
But he only did the right thing first, but also literally – when he left Liverpool. With 2 bullet points left after that, Mane failed the whole set. Up to now, Mane has only scored 11 goals for Bayern, of which only 6 in the Bundesliga.
With the 2022 World Cup, even using “mage” but the Senegal team could not heal Mane, leading to an early elimination result that everyone could see. Mane missed the opportunity to present himself on the biggest football stage in the world during the most ripe period of his career, this opportunity will not come twice.
In fact, before the injury, Mane’s integration with Bayern was not appreciated. Former coach Julian Nagelsmann tried very hard to exploit the best qualities of the striker born in 1992, but he was forever incompatible. Mane is not a striker, can’t score as many goals as Lewandowski, arranging him on the wing is too redundant. Does this problem seem wrong from the start?
Until Nagelsmann was sacked, Mane was rumored to be part of the supporters of the decision of the Bayern board. It’s understandable, at a team that he doesn’t know who to trust, it’s safest to just follow the majority.
But really, the more he tried to fit in, the more Mane became out of step with his teammates. This is a confusing detail knowing that Mane has always been a likable, cute, kind guy in the eyes of Liverpool members. Mane also spent time playing football in Salzburg in Austria – where the football culture is quite similar to Germany. So what’s the reason he’s “lost”?
And the last drop of water came after the loss to Man City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League first leg – where Mane was only released for the last 20 minutes. Fans saw Leroy Sane get on the team bus with his face covered and German media reported that he was Mane’s “victim”. There seem to have been punches thrown, the victim even vomited blood and surely someone will be punished.
Mane was never such a violent person. What is the truth behind, the future will answer. But one thing is for sure, Mane lacks the supportive hugs from Jurgen Klopp, from Salah, Henderson, Robertson… like in Liverpool. Mane has not never been in form, but at least, there are always people who believe in him completely.
Unlike his cold appearance, Mane is very affectionate and enjoys the family atmosphere. That was now a luxury in another environment, the same gamble that Mane had played with all his might when he accepted to leave his comfort zone.