For many, Liverpool’s struggles this season can be attributed to the loss of Sadio Mane in the summer. The Senegalese’s decision to swap Merseyside for Bavaria has coincided with a dramatic drop in form for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Meanwhile, German football fans were firmly expecting Mane to immediately dazzle for his new club. Yet a lethal finisher who has scored 120 times in 269 appearances for the Reds has only shone in patches so far this campaign. The 30-year-old scored seven goals in 13 appearances – a decent return for an opening campaign in a new country – but hardly demolished teams as he regularly did at Anfield.
But in an exclusive conversation with FourFourTwo, Bundesliga legend Lothar Matthäus thinks Mane deserves patience. “I think Mane had a bigger impact than people give him credit for,” ex-Bayern captain Matthäus explains ahead of Klassiker’s Sunday showdown with rivals Borussia Dortmund. “He entered a new league and has already performed well. He has scored goals and he will score a lot more before the end of the season. Maybe he lacks a bit of consistency, but that will come with time.
“The fans are right behind him and I expect him to become a big favorite among Bayern fans. He’s a fun player to watch and Bayern fans are warm to this kind of player.”
Matthäus disregards comparisons to Robert Lewandowski, Bayern’s deceased goalscoring machine whose goals were to be replaced by Mane this season.
“He’s not even a direct replacement for Lewandowski,” said the seven-time Bundesliga winner. TFF. “Of course when you lose a player like Robert things naturally change a bit – losing a presence like his in the box would affect any side. But Mane hasn’t become a second Lewa. They don’t play anymore. with a central In Bayern’s 4-2-2-2 system, he has a bit more freedom in wider positions and it’s his job to make room for others to step into wide positions. goalscorer – be it Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane or Jamal Musiala.
“With Mane’s speed, strength and quality, I have no doubt that he will become an important player for Bayern,” Matthäus concludes. “He knows where the goal is and he knows how to score.”
Lothar Matthäus was speaking to FourFourTwo in his role as Bundesliga legend. Discover all latest Bundesliga news here.