Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he’s been monitoring Sadio Mane ever since 2012, with the Senegalese international impressing him during the 2012 Olympics. He’s been keeping tabs on the 24-year-old during his time at both Red Bull Salzburg and Southampton, and has been considering a swoop for him ever since he took over at Liverpool, as reported by the Echo.
Mane really shone with Salzburg, scoring plenty of goals at an incredibly young age. He was part of a truly dominant title winning side, consequently earning himself a £12m move to Southampton (via the Daily Star). Brendan Rodgers apparently turned down the chance to sign him at that point, as the former Liverpool boss just wasn’t keen on him at all (via the Daily Star). He continued to impress during his time at St Mary’s, enough so that Klopp made him one of his top targets this summer.
The manager claims he’s incredibly excited to see him turn out for Liverpool, and expects the fans to feel the same way.
“I have followed Sadio for a lot of years since his impressive performances in the Olympics in 2012, and then watched his development in Austria and in his time at Southampton,” he said.
“Since I came here I have spoken to the staff a lot about him and have always felt he could be a very good signing for us. He has a lot of quality, works hard and has a very good goalscoring record.
“When I spoke to him I could tell that he was passionate about joining the club and playing for our fantastic fans. I think they will be just as excited about seeing him put on a Liverpool shirt as I am.
“It is great that we have managed to sign him so he can work with us from the first day of pre-season.”
There have been mixed responses to Mane’s transfer, with a number of fans believing we’re overpaying for the tricky winger. He’s unquestionably a supremely talented player though, and hopefully he’ll be a booming success at Liverpool.
We arguably haven’t had the right players to suit Jurgen Klopp’s style of play, but Mane should go a long way towards remedying that. He should fill a void that we’ve had in the wide areas for quite some time, and could be part of a new-look team ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.