The fall of Sadio Mane: From Liverpool talisman to Bayern Munich problem
Bayern Munich's £35 million capture of Sadio Mane was initially seen as one of the bargain deals of the 2022 summer transfer window, as the forward rejected a contract extension at Liverpool to take on a new challenge at the Allianz Arena.
Mane earned a place among Europe's elite attackers during his six-year stint at Anfield, scoring 120 goals in 269 games, becoming a Premier League and Champions League winner in the process.
Bayern hoped that the Reds hero would help fill the void left by Robert Lewandowski, who completed a long-anticipated move to Barcelona shortly after Mane's arrival in Germany. The early signs were positive, with five goals netted in his first six appearances after slotting straight into Julian Nagelsmann's starting XI.
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However, the goals quickly dried up for Mane, and he faced plenty of criticism after a poor display in the club's 2-0 Champions League group-stage victory over Barcelona. He was substituted after 70 minutes after failing to muster a single shot, with Nagelsmann left frustrated.
"I would like him to do certain things more," said the coach. "Maybe less looking for the ball or teammates, and trying to be a bit more self-confident."
Fast-forward seven months, and Mane is now a shadow of the player he was at Liverpool. The 31-year-old has also reportedly become a disruptive influence behind the scenes, and with Bayern's season now threatening to unravel, his future at the club has been thrown into doubt...