This is surely an example of the MoneyBall approach gone wrong.
Before he signed for Southampton in 2014, Red Bull Salzburg’s Sadio Mane was a target for Liverpool, but we pulled out of the transfer at the last minute because his ‘statistics’ didn’t meet our computer’s required levels. This doesn’t mean goals and assists – it means ‘passes’, ‘distance covered’, ‘tackles’. That kind of thing.
This is according to Raphael Honigstein in Sport1, who suggests the £12m Southampton paid for him now looks an absolute bargain.
In Mane’s final season in Austria he plundered 23 goals from the wing, 19 the season before. Surely these are the statistics that merit attention?
Since arriving in England, the 23-year-old Senegalese has scored 19 goals, including the Premier League’s fastest ever hat-trick and two efforts which helped the Saints comeback to beat us 3-2 at St. Mary’s last time out.
He’s fast, skilful and would have no doubt done a job for us in wide positions over the past two seasons.
Still, this kind of story simply outlines some of the problems of our previous transfer regime, but under Jurgen Klopp – we’ve a man with a history of signing the right players and for the right reasons. He has the final say in incomings and outgoings, and we believe that this summer will see the mistakes of recent windows eradicated by the brilliant German and his team. We’ve already confirmed Joel Matip and Marko Grujic, while according to the Guardian, Mario Gotze is a strong possibility as well.