Sadio Mane signed with Liverpool FC on June 28, 2016, and has been proving his worth ever since. The Reds had been looking for a quality attacking option after they’d struggled offensively following the departure of Luis Suarez a couple of years earlier and Daniel Sturridge continuing to struggle with injuries.
He immediately started showing that the £34 million that Liverpool had paid Southampton for his services, the then-highest transfer fee ever for an African player, was worth it. His first goal was the match winner in a 4-3 victory over Arsenal that ultimately proved pivotal as the Reds outlasted the Gunners by one point for fourth place and the Premier League’s final Champions League spot.
In fact, Mane has been a more prolific scorer with Liverpool than he had been for fellow English Premier League side Southampton, resulting in this gamble by the Reds to pay off considerably. His first season at Anfield, the Senegalese international scored 13 Premier League goals despite only playing 27 matches after the then-unpredictable player had put the ball in the back of the net 11 times in 37 contests for the Saints in his last year on the South Coast.
After a slight dip his sophomore campaign, he had his best season to date, scoring 22 times in 36 outings in the 2018-19 season. He’s also scored quite often in other competitions, including twice in a Champions League round of 16 match with Bayern Munich on March 13, 2019, which helped the Reds advance in Germany after they’d had a 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Sadio Mane has also gotten off to a hot start for Liverpool FC this English Premier League season. Interestingly, his first start of the campaign was at his old stomping grounds, Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium, and he made sure that his former supporters witnessed what they’d lost. A Mane goal just before the break was the first of the match and helped his team to a 2-1 win. He later scored one of the Reds’ three goals in a 3-0 whitewashing of Burnley and helped his club rally from a surprising 1-0 deficit to Newcastle United by tying the score and taking the lead in what would ultimately be a 3-1 win.
Liverpool great John Aldridge is just the latest of many to voice how impressed they are with how mature Mane has gotten since his arrival at Anfield and how essential he’s been to the club’s successes. Aldridge told the Irish Independent that the striker has turned into a “potent scoring weapon” and that, if he were to unexpectedly be put on the market, he’d easily command more than £100 million.
At the age of 27, he’s right at his peak and is expected to enjoy several productive seasons to come as he aims to help his club win their first Premier League title in history – their last top-tier league title was the 1989-90 First Division championship – and to add to the team’s tally of Champions League trophies.