Why did Liverpool sanction the departure of Sadio Mane and what now with the attack of the Reds?

The imminent departure of Liverpool striker Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich means Jurgen Klopp’s famous top three will be disbanded.

Between them, Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah scored 374 goals for the Reds.

However, with the trio now in their 30s – and all in the last 12 months of their contracts – there was a need to think about the succession policy that began with the arrival of Diogo Jota in September 2020.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at why Mane was allowed to leave and what it means for Liverpool in the future.

Mane scored 23 goals last season, why let him go?

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Sadio Mane scored 23 goals last season (Nick Potts/PA)

The Senegalese is 30 years old and has made it clear in the final year of his contract that he wants to move on. As Mane and strike partners Salah and Firmino entered the last 12 months of their deals, it became necessary to sign them or phase them out. As protracted negotiations continue with Salah and Firmino – the oldest of the three – is likely to play out the rest of his contract, the club could not let the situation drag on without resolving it.

But £35.1m seems cheap for such an influential player…

In fact, Manet could play for foreign clubs in January and leave for free the following summer. Liverpool have come to the conclusion that it is better to cash in now and start the rejuvenation process rather than wait a year and find themselves in a situation where they can look for a pair of forwards that the selling clubs can use to their financial advantage.

However, Mane would not have been allowed to leave unless the club had a suitable replacement, and the recent arrival of Darvin Nunez, who is eight years his junior, makes up for his loss. The proceeds from the sale of Mane, as well as taking his hefty salary from the payroll, make Nunes’ potential signing of a club-record £85m more attractive.

How much risk is Liverpool taking?

Nunes, 22, may be raw and only have one decent season under his belt, but his six-year contract underscores Klopp and his coaching staff’s faith in the former Benfica striker. The club’s recruiting policy over the last four or five years has been the envy of the world and despite the loss of a player of Mane’s stature, there will no doubt be a moment when every cycle must end and you need to build the future.

With Salah’s performance – the Egyptian striker has won the Premier League Golden Boot in three of the last four seasons – there are no signs of slowing down, the January signing of Luis Diaz is having an immediate impact and Firmino and Jota are more than capable support. options, it’s a reasonable calculated risk. Fulham teenager Fabio Carvalho is another promising player who will join the team this summer.

So what will Liverpool’s squad look like next season?

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Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz are likely to form a new forward line with Nunez (Nick Potts/PA)

Salah will obviously keep his position in front on the right, Nunez will be allowed to run through the center – although his role may be interchangeable with Firmino and Jota as part of his adaptation – while Diaz looks like he has already made a left-wing moored to himself just through four months in the club. Klopp rarely deviates from a 4-3-3 formation, but he occasionally switched to 4-2-4 last season as Liverpool chased games, while a 4-2-3-1 with Firmino behind Nunez is now more realistic alternative.