Jurgen Klopp has admitted to being furious with himself for turning down Sadio Mane at Borussia Dortmund when he had the chance to sign him.
Our manager was well aware of the Senegalese flyer during his time in Germany, when Mane was still at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. But Klopp decided against a transfer and instead the 24-year-old signed for Southampton.
Mane took to the Premier League like a duck to water and eventually of course earned his transfer to Liverpool with Klopp refusing to make the same mistake twice.
“With Sadio it was pretty simple because I made the mistake at Dortmund where I didn’t take him,” Klopp said, cited in the Echo.
“We talked. I think everyone knows we met each other and by the end I didn’t feel (claps hands) this.
“Around about three months later I would have punched myself so I knew already that the next chance I had I would take it. So it was not difficult to take this decision, it was very easy.
“When the club came and when Michael Edwards said we have an opportunity. No talks were necessary any more. It was a case of ‘let’s do it’.
“It was more a feeling.
“We spoke and I liked the player. But at Dortmund in that position I was happy and we could only get one, not two or three, so it needed to be the right, exact fit in that moment.
“Who did I sign instead? I’ve forgotten. There have been so many transfers.
“I’m not a genius so I couldn’t exactly imagine the Austrian League where he was. What does it mean? What does it mean for the football? That’s it. I have made more mistakes in my life like this actually.
“I think he would have been more expensive if we had taken him to Dortmund and then he had been sold to Liverpool, so all good for Liverpool! My first Liverpool decision, the more I think about it, nice!”
Mane will line up against his former club at Southampton today, having put Liverpool to the sword last season at St. Mary’s.
With Klopp’s side 2-0 up, a Mane inspired Southampton came back to win 3-2, thanks to two goals from the flying winger. They’ve got Nathan Redmond instead now, but our summer signing has come on leaps and bounds and is one of the most impressive players in the Premier League. We’ll need him at his very best as Adam Lallana is unfit and won’t start and Coutinho is a doubt too. These two have probably been our two players of the season so far, so it’ll be a test of our depth and ability to cope without the playmakers.