Jürgen Klopp’s first big signing for Liverpool was Sadio Mané, and the Senegalese attacker quickly became synonymous with the German manager’s time on Merseyside and key to his success as the English giants climbed back up onto their perch.
After six seasons, though, Mané is now gone. Off to Bayern Munich for a new challenge as he enters his thirties. And while Klopp is sad to see him go, he says he understands Mane’s desire for a change and respects the way he went about getting it.
“Sadio told me that he was looking for a new challenge,” Klopp said. “If that happens early enough, like it was in this case, and it happens in the right way and the new club the player wants to go to is open to negotiations then it should be like it was.
“So we say thank you with biggest respect ever. I couldn’t have more respect for the player Sadio Mané is, so I wish him the best and the player he is he will play until 38 or 39 so Bayern got a really good player but we had him for six years so that’s fine.”
Liverpool will look different in 2022-23 because of it, but the desire for a new challenge after six years is understandable—and for Klopp and Liverpool, there is a new challenge, too, of building a new attack with rising stars Luis Diaz and Darwin Núñez.
“It’s completely normal that sometimes in relationships there are changes needed,” Klopp added. “In this case Sadio wanted it and we reacted and now we both try to make the best of it, so I’m really fine with it even if I will miss him because it’s how life is.”