Liverpool’s terrible, no good, very bad season has been a quite exhausting one, and news this week that the club was giving up on their two year pursuit of top midfield target Jude Bellingham likely won’t do anything to improve the vibes in the coming weeks.
It’s not just the Reds, though, who have fallen catastrophically short of expectations set by the quadruple chase of 2021-22. One of their top players from last year, Sadio Mané, has had a similarly disastrous season following his summer move to Bayern Munich.
Injuries and decreasing minutes as Mané has tumbled from nailed-on starter to attacking option was the story around the player, with the German press and Bayern fans growing increasingly critical of the return on their £30M and £300k per week investment.
The situation, and Bayern’s struggles since swapping Julian Nagglesman for for Thomas Tuchel—who has since guided Bayern out of the Pokal and lost 3-0 to Man City in the first leg of their Champions League tie—appeared to reach a breaking point this week.
Following Tuesday’s heavy defeat in their Champions League quarter-final, Mané reportedly got in an altercation with fellow forward Leory Sané that led to him punching the German international. Two days on, Mané has now been suspended indefinitely by Bayern.
Mané has always been a player who plays the game on the edge. With Liverpool, he was the sort of player who always left a little extra in on defenders he came up against. That edge, though, was consistently channeled into success on the pitch under Jürgen Klopp.
Hopefully, whether or not he still has a future at Bayern, he can find his way back to being that player. And despite the criticism he’s faced, his underlying numbers—and in most important categories he’s still up in the top 10%—suggest he isn’t quite done yet.