After spending eight years in England, Sadio Mane moved to Germany at the beginning of the 2022/23 season. There was much fanfare when the Liverpool icon moved to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. But it would seem that he has had a little trouble settling into his new home, and we wonder how many Liverpool fans would be quietly pleased, considering he broke many hearts with his exit from The Reds.
Eight years in England
The eight years he spent in England were undoubtedly eventful and memorable for the League, his fans and Mane himself. In his time in England, he spent two years at Southampton, where he made a name for himself, but at Liverpool, his skill, talent and discipline shone through.
His time at Liverpool helped his team reach the UEFA Champions League finals in 2018 and 2019 and lifted the trophy in 2019. He was the joint top goal scorer in the 2018 – 2019 season. That same year he was named African Footballer of the Year. He made 268 appearances for Liverpool and scored 111 goals with 38 assists. When Liverpool won the league title in 2019-20, after a 30-year drought of silverware for The Reds, even the online betting punters had given up on predictions for the team.
Since then, he has lifted the UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup and the Champions League. When the transfer window opened, he signed a three-year deal with the German club Bayern Munich. The Germans spent £35 million on acquiring the Senegalese midfielder.
Now at Bayern Munich
Since joining Bayern this season, Sadio Mane has played twelve games and scored six goals with no assists, and this has been for the Champions League, Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal tournaments. Despite scoring a goal in his opening four games, his performance seems to have stalled. He has struggled to score in his last six matches for the team.
One can only imagine the kind of pressure he feels right now; even if there is no external pressure from his teammates and manager, Julian Nagelsmann, he must be having difficult conversations with himself. The expectation of greatness from being a Liverpool icon must be quite a heavy burden on his shoulders. Mane himself has admitted that adjusting to his new home takes him time. Even though he has explicitly stated that his fellow teammates have been welcoming, one cannot help but wonder if there isn’t any hostility in the changing rooms. Bayern’s management seems unfazed and are confident that once he settles in and finds his feet, he will have the same impact he had at Liverpool.
Mane has predominantly played an attack position in the left wing or as a midfielder for the Senegalese national team. At Bayern, he has been seen playing almost exclusively as a centre-forward, which is a change from his usual position that could also contribute to the drop in form he is experiencing. A lot is changing in his life, and playing a different position can also be disconcerting and cause him to be less fluid in play.
Liverpool and Bayern Performance
Liverpool acknowledged the impact Mane had on the team and their regret at losing him to Bayern, but they won’t be counting their losses for too long, seeing that they signed Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez.They now have to reconfigure their three frontmen, Firmino, Salah and Mane set Liverpool up for the success they experienced over the past few years. Perhaps the addition of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez will produce another successful combination.
Bayern are the reigning Bundesliga champions; they were at the top of Group E with 18 points in the UEFA Champions League. In addition to UEFA and Bundesliga, they also partake in the DFB-Pokal and DFL- Supercup. We can see why Mane wanted to join the German super team, and there are plenty of opportunities to play and potentially lift some silverware.
Bayern has several group-stage games for their UEFA Champions League campaign and second-round games in the DFB -Pokal. Mane will have plenty of opportunities to show us the magic we saw at Liverpool.
Bayern vs Viktoria Plen 12th October 2022
Bayern vs SC Freiburg 16th October
Bayern vs Augsburg 19th October 2022
Bayern vs Hoffenheim 22nd October 2022
The only constant in life is that it changes; if we don’t keep moving, we die. Mane knew the challenge he was looking for when he signed with Bayern. We believe he will find his brilliant form once he settles in Germany, showing what made him an icon. He is still young, has the skill, experience, and energy to make a real impact at Bayern and might lift some silverware. Legends like Sadio Mane go out with a bang, not a sad fizzle.