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Sadio Mané: A Wanted Man

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In an interview with BBC Sports’ Football Focus, Sadio Mané revealed Jürgen Klopp’s long pursuit of the player.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Whisper or shout it, but Sadio Mané is Liverpool’s secret marquee signing. Liverpool signed Mané from Southampton for a fee believen to be around £30 million, but in truth, the price no longer matters as it’s difficult to imagine a Liverpool without him. It’s still very early in his career on Merseyside, but recent history has shown that attacking players usually show considerable signs of promise early in their Liverpool careers.

Mané has yet to fully reveal the explosiveness where he can score two or three goals in a game along with streaks where defences appear to exist only for him to destroy. Three goals and an assist in six league games suggest that the 24-year-old is doing more than enough on the right of Liverpool’s attack. For those wondering, Mané’s arrival wasn’t a case of Liverpool striking lucky after missing out on Mario Götze. Jürgen Klopp has been interested in the player for some time.

“Before I came here, I had the chance to meet Klopp when he was at Borussia Dortmund,” Mané told BBC Sport. “I was at Red Bull Salzburg and he tried to sign me - but it didn't happen and that is football. He is a good manager and he is someone who likes his players. At the end of last season, he called me and told me he wanted me to come to Liverpool. I said straightaway that I want to come. It was the right time and right coach for me. I am very happy to be here.”

We’re all happy to have you here, Sadio. Liverpool’s right side appears to be extremely dependable and robust with Nathaniel Clyne linking up well with Mané. Not only is Clyne a solid defender with a fine fitness record, Mané takes his defensive duties seriously and boasts exceptional athleticism to zip around the pitch. There’s his development under Roger Schmidt—a gegenpressing maniac—that makes him an ideal fit for Jürgen Klopp. But of course, Klopp knew that long before Mané displayed his considerable talents in England.