Jurgen Klopp has insisted that losing Sadio Mane is not the reason Liverpool have struggled to get going this season.
In conversation with Norwegian outlet TV2 before Tuesday’s win over Ajax, Klopp was asked if Liverpool miss Mane.
Sadio is a world-class player. It was always clear that we were going to miss him. But this is not our problem now. Unfortunately, we played bad games with Sadio as well. Not so bad, but bad,” said the Liverpool manager.
Hopefully the Reds’ late victory against Ajax can help spark their season into life, and put an end to these suggestions.
Mane starting to misfire in Munich
Throughout Liverpool’s poor start to the campaign, the question over whether they should have let Mane leave has lingered.
But in reality, losing Mane has never been the problem for Liverpool. In some respects, it could be argued that they actually lost the player two years ago.
That’s because from the start of the 20/21 season, Liverpool’s former no.10 was never the same dominating player he had been up to that point.
Mane papered over some of the cracks with some good goal scoring displays when being moved centrally in the second half of last season.
By then, though, Liverpool had already replaced him with Luis Diaz. Given Diaz’s form in a below-par side this season, it’s safe to say that he’s stepped up in Mane’s absence.
After Mane started well at Bayern Munich, it was an obvious reason to point to for Liverpool’s struggles. But after bagging four goals in his first four games for the Germans, the forward is now without a goal in five.
With Bayern now registering three consecutive Bundesliga draws, questions are starting to be asked in Munich. That isn’t to say Mane won’t come good – he’s been world-class before and could be again. But Liverpool have other things to concern themselves with right now.