The Hard Tackle lists three players Liverpool should target to replace Sadio Mane, who could depart from Anfield in the summer transfer window.
It took some time for Liverpool to become one of the most dominant teams in Europe again, but the reward has been worth the wait, especially for fans who patiently waited for the Reds to be successful in England and Europe. Jurgen Klopp has overseen a brilliant transformation at Anfield, guiding Liverpool to several titles in the last half a dozen years.
Sadio Mane was one of the first pieces of the puzzle, with his arrival from Southampton having a transformational effect on Liverpool. The Senegalese international was already highly rated during his stint with the Saints, but his output for Liverpool has been excellent, considering he has also won the Premier League Golden Boot once in the last six years.
Mane’s arrival was followed by Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Alisson Becker, with the star players essaying pivotal roles in Liverpool’s rise. But it all started with Mane, who hit the ground running upon joining Liverpool and has gone from strength to strength with each passing season.
But the 30-year-old seems destined to leave Liverpool in the summer transfer window as he wants to embark on a new challenge. While Mane’s next destination remains unknown, he has no shortage of prospective suitors, with Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Real Madrid keen on signing him.
Mane’s departure will be the beginning of the end of an era, but it will also leave a gaping hole in Liverpool’s offensive unit, one that Klopp will need to fill on a priority basis. Considering their efficacy in signing the right players for their squad, the Merseyside giants can be relied upon to replace Mane correctly. With that in mind, The Hard Tackles looks at three options for Liverpool to consider to replace Sadio Mane in the summer transfer window.
The first name on our list features a player who is on top of the world right now following a stunning 2021/22 season. And with his stock skyrocketing in the last few months, Christopher Nkunku can be a solution for Liverpool in the summer transfer window.
The French international can reprise just about every role in the final third, doing so for RB Leipzig in the last few years. Nkunku is coming off a season where he was one of the most productive players in Europe, amassing 35 goals and 20 assists in 51 appearances across all competitions.
Considering Mane has played across the frontline for Liverpool in the last six years, Nkunku could be a like-for-like replacement, especially if he features through the centre for the most part. But Liverpool will not have it easy in the race to sign Nkunku.
The 24-year-old is a target for several European bigwigs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid. So Liverpool will have an uphill task in the pursuit of the former Paris Saint-Germain attacker. But Nkunku will add a lot to Liverpool’s gameplay if he arrives at Anfield, with his creative nous being a welcome addition. However, RB Leipzig will look to keep hold of the Chelsea and Manchester United target, adding to Liverpool’s challenge.
The next name on our list features another player who is on the radars of several high profile clubs across Europe. And unlike Christopher Nkunku, this forward could be available for a cut-price fee amid his dragging contract renewal talks with Bayern Munich. We are writing about Serge Gnabry.
The German international has blossomed into a top-class wide-attacker in the last few seasons, establishing himself as a pivotal figure for club and country. But Bayern Munich might have to cash in on Gnabry in the summer transfer window, as he is no closer to reaching an agreement over a new contract.
Gnabry, like Nkunku, can play across the attacking line, reprising all the roles for Bayern Munich and Germany. Those qualities and an eye for a goal make the 26-year-old an attractive target for Liverpool, who can bring in a player who will fill the Mane-shaped hole perfectly.
But like Nkunku, Gnabry is a highly-coveted forward this summer, with clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal keen on signing him. However, the lure of featuring prominently at Liverpool FC while battling for the top honours could give the Reds an advantage in his pursuit.
The last name on our list features a player who has blossomed superbly this season amid the widespread distractions surrounding his long-term future. We are talking about Ousmane Dembele, whose situation at FC Barcelona is increasingly precarious as we enter the final month of his contract.
Dembele is reportedly inclined to remain at Camp Nou beyond the summer transfer window but has rejected Barcelona’s latest contract renewal offer. The French international could thus leave Barcelona as a free agent, especially after entering the final year of his deal this month.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner was in a league of his own at FC Barcelona in the second half of the 2021/22 season. Dembele was the creative supremo for the Blaugrana after overcoming issues off the field and winning the Catalan club’s fans. But his long-dragging contract renewal talks mean a new adventure could be on the cards.
Like the other two candidates, Dembele is heavily linked with several high profile clubs in Europe, including Chelsea, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. But with Liverpool in contact with the Barcelona contract rebel, the Reds will fancy their chances of snapping him up.
Dembele also seems to have put his fitness woes behind him, with his attitude issues seemingly a thing of the past. And if his upward trajectory continues, Liverpool will have a top-class wide-attacker on their hands who can boost the Reds’ creative options while also adding to their goalscoring numbers.