Sadio Mane’s route to becoming one of the most talented attacking stars in the Premier League is incredible and has been expertly mapped out.
The Senegalese forward has had an impact wherever he has been in his career so far, impressing enough at the Génération Foot academy in Dakar at 16-years-old to earn a move to French side Metz in 2011 before moving to Austria with Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 where he went on to score over 30 goals across two seasons.
He quickly made a name for himself at Southampton after joining in 2014 before of course signing for Liverpool two years later for £34million.
Mane has been outstanding since arriving on Merseyside last summer and has been one of the main influences under Jurgen Klopp in terms of working for his teammates, playing with the manager’s desired intensity and leading an explosive attacking style.
His agent Bjorn Bezemer has outlined the ambitious yet calculated path Mane has taken in order to get to where he is.
Speaking about the player’s time in Austria and his eventual decision to leave for Southampton, Bezemer told the Guardian: “The league there is OK but you have to find the point to leave. If you are there for more than two years there is a danger that a player will get used to the rhythm and lose their opportunity to make progress. Sadio is the best example of this because he has continued to improve every season.”
“Sadio had offers from places like China and Russia but also bigger clubs in Europe. We said: ‘no, now is not the time to make just big money or sitting on a bench in a top club, we want to take a career step’, so he accepted the offer for less money from Southampton because we felt this was the right move at that stage. In the end it paid off.”
“I knew Jürgen Klopp from Germany and thought that he could be the right coach to take him forward after Southampton. We tried to find out about Liverpool before he committed himself to them and it is not only the coach, the whole club is top professional.”
Mane has transformed into everything you could want a player to be. He works hard, he is committed to the cause in whatever team he is playing for and he wants to make things happen and reach the top.
He has been a joy to watch and we are fortunate to have him at the club. It’s also interesting to see just how significant a factor Klopp can play when it comes to enticing potential signings.