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Are Liverpool still missing Mane? Oxlade-Chamberlain admits life is ‘different’ with Nunez in attack

13:41 WAT 03/01/2023
Sadio Mane Liverpool 2021-22
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admits that Liverpool are still adjusting to Sadio Mane’s departure, with a “different” approach being taken in attack.
  • Senegalese star left for Bayern Munich
  • Untimely injuries suffered at Anfield
  • Consistency proving hard to come by

WHAT HAPPENED? The Premier League heavyweights saw a proven Senegalese forward pack his bags for Bayern Munich in the summer of 2022, while Roberto Firmino no longer figures as prominently as he once did after reaching the final year of his contract. The likes of Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz have been bedded in to a new-look attack, alongside the comforting presence of Mohamed Salah, but tactical tweaks – along with untimely injuries – have made it difficult for the Reds to replicate the consistency of their recent past.

WHAT THEY SAID: Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was asked to operate as a left winger again during a 3-1 defeat at Brentford, has told LFCTV of trying to fill some sizeable boots at Anfield: “I’ve watched Sadio and Mo play that position for years and one thing that they have both done outstandingly well is provide goals for the team. It’s a bit different when Darwin [Nunez] is playing through the middle because he’s such a threat in behind. When Bobby [Firmino] plays that role he usually drops a bit deeper and fills that half space.

“That has been my role from there, being the one who drops deep and tries to link but ultimately get up with Darwin and Mo’s pace and get in and around the box. That’s the thing the last few games I’ve been missing, that real goal threat, so it was nice to sort of get that chance and take it tonight – it’s just a shame it doesn’t mean anything.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mane registered 120 goals and 48 assists for Liverpool across six seasons on Merseyside, helping them to Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, Carabao Cup and FA Cup successes.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Nunez has struggled to provide a striking spark following his big-money arrival from Benfica, with inconsistency at both ends of the field resulting in Liverpool suffering five defeats through 17 Premier League games to leave them sat sixth in the English top-flight table.