Didi Hamann Exclusive: Mane Will Be Hard To Replace
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Didi Hamann Exclusive: Mane Will Be Hard To Replace

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann is surprised Sadio Mane was allowed to leave Anfield — and believes his old side will struggle to replace the Senegalese star. Long-serving forward Mane scored 120 goals across six seasons on Merseyside, but joined German giants Bayern Munich in a £27.4million deal earlier this month. And Hamann feels that the 30-year-old’s departure is a significant blow for the Reds.


Surprised About Mane Departure

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “I'm very surprised that Liverpool let Sadio Mane go because when the rumours first started I didn't really see the transfer actually happening  – because Bayern Munich are a big club but, as we've seen in the last few years, the Premier League clubs have dominated the Champions League.

“When I spoke to people in Munich, I found out pretty quickly that Mane was very keen to join and wanted a new challenge.

“I thought it'd be a very difficult transfer to pull off at first. It's a big loss for Liverpool and a huge signing for Bayern Munich.”

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Tough To Replace

Liverpool are now faced with the challenge of replacing Mane – and Porto forward Otavio has been linked with a move to the North West.

But Hamann thinks that finding the right candidate will be a challenge, despite the array of talent already in the Reds’ ranks.

“I think it'll be very hard for Liverpool to replace Sadio Mane,” he explained.

“When you look at the stats he's amassed over the last four or five seasons – he's been unbelievable.

“Liverpool have signed Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz last season and I think Diaz is the obvious replacement out wide, but he has to prove that he can score and create the same volume of goals and assists that Sadio Mane did.

“Liverpool have also got a really talented player in Fabio Carvalho from Fulham, who can make the first few steps this season and go on to be a player who can get in the starting XI every week.”

Diaz Abd Nunez Must Shine

Jurgen Klopp’s men will have the Premier League title in their sights next term, though Hamann believes reclaiming top spot will depend on how quickly Diaz and new signing Nunez get up to speed.

“It [Liverpool’s continued success] depends if the new players can hit the ground running,” he said. 

“Luis Diaz signed last year but it remains to be seen whether he can perform for a full season and Darwin Nunez is a really talented player but coming to the Premier League is a different kettle of fish.”

Nunez Needs Time

The former German international added: “Liverpool fans should give Darwin Nunez three to six months to settle in.

“The price tag won't help Nunez though because when a club pays that much money for a signing, you expect them to score goals pretty quickly.

“People will compare Nunez and Erling Haaland and that won't end up in Nunez's favour because Haaland will get more chances in the Man City team and he costs less money.

“If the fans give Nunez time then I'm sure he'll succeed.”

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Liverpool Need To Win Silverware

However, Liverpool may not have that luxury, as the pressure will be on Klopp’s side to win the Premier League or Champions League in 2022-23.

Hamann acknowledged as much, saying: “Liverpool need to win the Premier League or Champions League in order to have a successful season but, without Sadio Mane, I'm not sure that it's possible.

“It's going to be a tough season psychologically for Liverpool after what happened last season.

“They were 15 minutes from winning the league and used up all their luck on the way to the Champions League final.

“The two biggest trophies eluded them and I think physcologically it'll be very hard for Jurgen Klopp – what they did last season can't be bettered.”





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