TalkSPORT pundit Dean Saunders has claimed that Liverpool should be giving Sadio Mane whatever he wants to keep him at the club, following claims that he is looking to move away.
The Senegalese international has just 13 months left on his contract and has been a mainstay in Jurgen Klopp’s side since he was signed in 2016. He has recently had to battle for his spot with January signing Luis Diaz but has arguably produced more than ever over the last six months.
However, after stating he would reveal his future following the Reds’ Champions League final showdown with Real Madrid, it seems he is ready to move on to pastures new.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Dean Saunders was vocal about his admiration for the 30-year-old:
“I think he’s irreplaceable,” he said.
“I would argue the fact that he’s in the top three players in the world right now. Salah, Mane, who would you take? De Bruyne?
“As a striker, I watched him at the Champions League final, he finds little pockets, he drifts in from the wing, he drifts inside, his legs are like concrete, strong, he’s quick as lighting, he scores goals.
“Diaz is a good replacement, but they’ve just got to give him [Mane] what he wants.
“Liverpool are doing really well at the moment and losing someone like him could knock them sideways.”
Jamie Carragher recently claimed that he expects the £72m-rated sensation to be part of a Ballon d’Or “shoot-out” with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, further proving his importance to Liverpool.
Our thoughts on Saunders’ comments…
As “irreplaceable” as Saunders may think Mane is, Liverpool have proven over the years that they can recruit untapped talent and allow Klopp to turn them into stars.
Naturally, losing a man who has contributed to 28 goals in 51 games for Liverpool this season is tough. He has been ever-present and fantastic for the Reds, drawing praise from his manager Jurgen Klopp, who labelled him “just a fantastic, world-class player”.
However, Diaz’s seven goal contributions in his first 13 Premier League games suggests that he could quite comfortably fill any vacancies left if Mane was to depart from Anfield. Diogo Jota’s fine goalscoring record this season further proves how Klopp could surely find a replacement for the former Southampton winger.
The only frustration Liverpool will feel is that his contract has been allowed to slowly run down, weakening their bargaining position. Saunders is correct to claim that Mane is a wonderful player, but nobody at Liverpool is ever truly irreplaceable.
In other news, another Liverpool star has been touted to sign a new contract. Find out who here.