After last season’s near-quadruple, when Liverpool came within just two games of making history, the 2022-23 season has been a major disappointment with the Reds out of three competitions and out on the fringes of the top four race in the Premier League.
The season has been similarly underwhelming for a key player who departed last summer, at least according to outlets in Germany, who have begun to ask questions about where the Sadio Mané they saw with the Reds last season has been since joining Bayern Munich.
Expectations were especially high for Mané given he was named African Footballer of the Year and was runner-up to Karim Benzema in the Ballon d’Or race, but so far his eleven goals and five assists have been an underwhelming though not terrible return.
An injury layoff due to an inflamed fibula that required surgery might seem the reasonable explanation, but given Liverpool’s struggles some German outlets are seeking to blame Mané’s time at Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp for the 30-year-old’s relative struggles.
Of course, it was that time at Liverpool under Klopp that made Bayern want him and raised Mané to the level of being named African Footballer of the Year and Ballon d’Or runner-up, so now complaining it may have left him physically drained seems an odd charge.
Still, it’s perhaps something of an interesting parallel to the narratives of Liverpool’s season, with the Reds clearly exhausted from last year’s efforts at the same time one of their superstars from last season is going through struggles of his own at a new club.