Despite twice beating Mohamed Salah’s Egypt with Senegal, Sadio Mané sometimes seems overshadowed by his Liverpool team-mate, although the Egyptian will need his help on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against the Benfica.
The month of April is going to be hellish for Liverpool, with the Champions League matches and a double duel against Manchester City, on Sunday in the Premier League and six days later in the FA Cup semi-finals. The panorama does not allow to stop for personal cases.
Mané’s intrigues despite everything, when he only has one year left on his contract, like Salah, without prolonging the Senegalese seems to be a priority for Liverpool, contrary to what happens with the Egyptian. “I talk a lot with the team, but if the question is do I talk about the renewal, the answer is no, for the moment,” he explained on Senegalese television. TFM his agent, Bjorn Bezemer, the day after the successful qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Without commenting on the future of the player, who will turn 30 on April 10, the agent also assured that “for the moment, we have decided to remain calm.” The arrival in January of Colombian left winger Luis Diaz from Porto reinforced the impression that Liverpool were preparing for an eventual “post-Mané” era.
Even the incorporation of the peasant meant that the Senegalese striker had to modify his position in Liverpool’s attack, going from being the owner of the left wing to having a profile much closer to a center forward.
Mané: humility and modesty
In statistical terms, Liverpool’s position is understandable: since his arrival on the banks of the Mersey River in 2017, the Egyptian has been systematically more decisive than his teammate, both in goals and in assists, a statistic in which Mané surpassed Salah last year with 9 decisive passes against 6 from ‘Mo’.
The Senegalese’s best season, 2019/20 in which he was decisive 34 times (22 goals and 12 assists), is still inferior to Salah’s less good one (23 goals and 13 passes), also in 2019/20.
This season, the margin is even greater, after Salah’s 28 goals and 10 assists against his teammate’s 12 and 3. Mané’s contribution to the team is obviously not limited to these two figures, which show that Salah is a pure finisher, when Mané stands out for participating more in construction and pressure.
If the difference in the treatment received by each of the two players is something to talk about at times, it can also be explained by the very different personalities of both partners.
Sadio Mané’s modesty is legendary, both on the field and off, and has been demonstrated by his extreme generosity in helping his hometown of Bambali, 400 kilometers south of Dakar.
“They are considered friends”
Salah, on the contrary, knows how to be more assertive. He does not hesitate, for example, to complain indirectly about the slowness in the negotiations with Liverpool, assuring the press that he is not “asking for anything crazy.”
On the field, the two continue to work well, and Jürgen Klopp does not stop emphasizing how well they understand each other. “There is no doubt that they are not only close, but also polite, they are good guys and good people. Sadio and ‘Mo’ definitely consider each other friends.”
Some media affirmed that Mané did not want to celebrate his continental title or the qualification for the World Cup within the team out of humility and out of respect for Salah’s understandable disappointment. His agent assured that it was above all because Liverpool is still in the fight for three trophies and that Mané wanted to maintain concentration on those goals.
Because even if it is red or under other colors, with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain as possible evoked exits, it will be the final sprint that will or will not place the Senegalese in a strong position, from which he will have to make his decision.
With information from AFP.