Is Sadio Mané becoming a problem for Liverpool? | OneFootball

Is Sadio Mané becoming a problem for Liverpool?

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Joel Sanderson-Murray

Sadio Mané is starting to become a real problem for Liverpool.

The Senegalese winger is in the midst of his worst run of form since he arrived at Anfield in 2016 and his performance in the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday was his lowest point.

Mané didn’t register a single shot, failed to create a chance and didn’t win any tackles during a ghostly performance at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

The 28-year-old isn’t just a shadow of his former self, he appears to have lost his soul and had his powers zapped out of his body.

His troubles in Madrid were not a one-off and Liverpool’s struggles in 2020/21 have coincided with poor showings from their number 10.

Mané started the season with four league goals in his first four games but has managed just three in the 23 since.

Although he has produced two assists in his last two Premier League outings, he has only contributed six overall, a disappointing return from a man considered one of the best forwards in Europe.

And it’s not just the stats that are showing a decline, Mané isn’t passing the eye test either at the minute.

He seems to have a lost some of the pace that made him so threatening. That ability to stand up his marker and beat him from a standing start has become a rare sight this campaign.

This is stark contrast to new boy Diogo Jota who has been a revelation since he joined the club – made obvious by his electricity and acceleration in and around the six yard box.

The Portuguese forward reacting quicker to Mané’s touch to score the third against Arsenal on Saturday said it all about their corresponding physical statures currently.

There has been no suggestion that Jürgen Klopp would want to sell one of his main men but if PSG or Real were to test his resolve with a bid this summer then the conversation may be more open ended than it would’ve been six months ago.

These should be Mané’s peak years but all the evidence is pointing the other way at the moment.

There could be a number of reasons. Like with the majority of footballers right now, Mané has played an obscene amount of football.

The ex-Southampton winger has missed just three games for Liverpool this season, one due to having COVID, and that comes after he missed just two matches last season.

It’s fair to say fatigue could be the overriding issue behind Mané’s poor campaign and all hope is not lost.

Unlike his European and South American counterparts, he doesn’t have an international tournament this summer, so should have some time off to recharge his batteries and go again next season.

But like many of his team-mates, he probably can’t wait for this one to end.

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