Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock has called for Sadio Mane to be dropped from the starting XI following the club’s poor first-leg performance against Real Madrid.
Jurgen Klopp’s men succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, with Mo Salah grabbing the away goal to hand the Reds some hope of an Anfield comeback.
I’m sorry but it’s time for Sadio to come out of the team. Never thought I’d be saying that but he’s miles off it. #RMALFC
— Stephen Warnock⚽️📺🎙 (@StephenWarnock3) April 6, 2021
The Senegal star has been one of our most consistent and deadliest forwards under Klopp, though has come under fire of late for a perceived downturn in form this term.
Is it time for Mane to be dropped? Who would we replace him with?
The No.10 has already improved on his scoring numbers in the Champions League from our prior European campaign, albeit only by one goal.
While the 28-year-old is still underperforming, at least as far as his Premier League numbers go, Warnock’s suggestion does present a further concern: who exactly would take Mane’s spot in the starting XI?
Bobby Firmino, likewise dropped following critique over his form, would be a potential option, though we’re not necessarily sure bringing the Brazilian back in ahead of the Senegalese would necessarily improve our situation.
Beyond the No.9, we don’t necessarily have a Jota-esque forward who could jump in and give him a breather – it presents a selection dilemma for Klopp ahead of a make or break second-leg, but nonetheless, we’ll be backing the squad to produce a response at Anfield.