Darren Bent has claimed that although you can’t directly replace Sadio Mane after he joined Bayern Munich from Liverpool recently, ‘forgotten man’ Diogo Jota and the Reds’ other attacking options are more than capable of stepping up and providing the firepower in place of the Senegal international.
The former Southampton man made the switch to the Bundesliga giants on Wednesday and brought to an end a stunning six-years on Merseyside.
He won every major trophy possible at Anfield, but it’s now time for Jurgen Klopp’s side to hunt down silverware without the 30-year-old’s regular contributions.
“I don’t think you can replace him straight away just man-for-man because I think he’s too good,” he told talkSPORT (via Sport Bible).
“But if (Luis) Diaz gets his numbers up in terms of goals and assists and Jota’s scoring goals… He was kind of the forgotten man towards the end of last season, but he stepped in and was brilliant.
“Diaz, (Roberto) Firmino’s still there and obviously (Mohamed) Salah speaks for himself, so they’ve still got so many different options in that front three area.”
Diogo Jota has been superb ever since arriving at the club from Wolves.
Last term, the Portugal international netted 21 goals and eight assists in 54 appearances (across all competitions) including vital goals against Arsenal the Carabao Cup semi-final victory at the Emirates, a winner against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup as well as goals at Old Trafford, Goodison Park and the Etihad.
Towards the end of the season, minutes from the start were hard to come by for the 25-year-old as Jurgen Klopp opted for a front line made up of Luis Diaz, Mane and Mo Salah.
On his day though, our No. 20 is deadly in front of goal and netted just two goals less than Mane last season.
With the £64m (potentially rising to £85m) that we’ve splashed out on Darwin Nunez however, you’d have every right to expect that it will be him rather than Jota replacing Mane in the starting XI.
To splash that much cash on a player for him to sit on the bench simply wouldn’t make sense.
But as we saw last season, we will play enough games across the season to ensure every one has the chance to play their part and prove that they deserve to be regular starters.
Our attacking options are rather frightening right now, even if we have lost one of the best players in the world.
We can’t wait for the new campaign to start to see how we adjust to life without Mane in the side.