Mane Leaves… What Does This Mean for Liverpool?
Every single Liverpool fan has had a lot to be thankful for in the past few seasons, as one of the most consistent teams in the English Premier League… and even across Europe. They have won every single title and they have become one of the hardest teams to beat. And every football bettor would not have been shy to put a bet on one of their big front three scoring at least once in any given match.
However, as Mane says his final farewell to the Klopp squad, the team’s triumvirate that has done such an amazing job for the last five years is finally no more. The fearsome threesome of Mane, Salah and Firmino are all on the wrong side of the big 3-0 and all have their contracts due to end in 2023. We all knew that this was going to happen, but that makes it nonetheless painful for the team and its supporters.
The Big Three
These are the three players that helped Liverpool to win the Premier League, the Champions League and even the FIFA Club World Cup. However, recently Klopp has been feeding in some new faces, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz who are keen to make their own mark in the club’s history.
Whether or not Salah and Firmino also leave within the next couple of years, Klopp is already starting to build a new red army, with his new £85 million signing, Darwin Nunez. leading the way. Because the big top three players are all around the same age and all out of contract at the same time, this was always going to be tough. However, with Mane pushing for a transfer 12 months earlier – alongside Tottenham’s interest in signing Diaz forcing Klopp to sign him earlier than intended, it makes the transfer and change of the team a little more gradual.
However, for the players that are needed to step into such big roles, they have very big boots to fill and it will be a lot of pressure. But, Diaz has exploded onto the scene already and they are gaining confidence that he will certainly go some way to fill the void. Indeed, recently, Klopp has moved his Senegalese player to a more central position so that his new winger could start in his preferred spot – which has shown that he had already started to prepare for this eventuality.
An Injured Hopeful
Another player we are looking at is Jota, who has also shown some skills since joining the squad. However, he suffered some injuries last season which put a bit of a dampener on it, despite having scored 21 goals. This impressive form has already seen him move ahead of Firmino in the pecking order. But, only four of these 21 goals have been scored since Mane and Salah returned from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Because of this, in the second half of the season, he has featured more out wide and he is now in competition with £134 million worth of talent and Jurgen’s two latest big-bucks signings for a place in the starting XI. This will certainly give him a fighting spirit and a challenge in the pre-season.
The First of Three
Mane’s departure has certainly given us a glimpse into how the team will deal with the imminent exits of Salah and Firmino when the time comes (which may be sooner than we think with Salah if rumours are to be believed)! There is certainly a hope that there is a promising younger generation of players.
There is no denying that this attacking trio has been a real success for Klopp. However, he has always had his eye on the future of the team instead of getting caught up in the present success. Football success affords no room for sentimentality!
Klopp describes his team as being in a transformation – but not a sudden one. This is a more gentle one. There has, up until now, been a fantastic squad, but naturally, things will change. Klopp wants to make sure that he is the one there to see the changes go through smoothly. When a team has to undergo such player changes, it is vital that the right people are working behind the scenes to make it happen properly – people who need to make the right decision for the loyal supporters.
Opening up space for the newer generation, whilst still keeping the current generation playing at their highest level is vital – and that is exactly the opportunity they have right now.
Clearly, Mane has been a huge name for the team and the players and supporters will no doubt miss him dearly. But Jurgen Klopp is a man that is prepared for change and is not afraid of new challenges. This is something he has been preparing for, for some time and he is looking forward to introducing a new fab three – and hopefully one as successful and loved by the fans. Watch this space, this is a scary and exciting time for the team.