Arsenal were reportedly given the opportunity to sign Sadio Mane in 2012, but passed up on the Liverpool star because he wasn’t “impressive enough”.
A report in Senegal – via Daily Cannon – states that, after the Olympic Games, the forward was offered to Arsenal before he signed for Red Bull Salzburg at the age of 20.
“After the Olympic Games, I offered him to Gilles Grimandi,” Mady Toure, president of the Generation Foot Academy, told APS. “A few years later, I recalled this episode to Arsene Wenger, who was managing Arsenal at the time.”
Mane scored 45 goals and registered 32 assists at Salzburg in 87 games – and he’s now an immovable cog in the Liverpool machine.
For the Reds, Mane has bagged 53 times in 111 appearances and is part of the most formidable attacking trio in the league with Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino.
It’s hard to imagine what we’d be like without Mane now, but we’re extremely happy that Arsenal passed up on the chance to sign our star seven years ago.
With Mane in their ranks, the Gunners may have enjoyed more success over the last few years and – who knows – maybe Liverpool would have signed someone else.
We’d have probably just signed whoever was playing well on Southampton’s left wing, to be honest!