Sadio Mane’s Liverpool dream will release Benteke of his nightmare

Sadio Mane Liverpool

Sadio Mane arrives at the Merseyside with a wave of enthusiasm and hope behind him which will see him bear a heavy responsibility for Liverpool’s fortunes this season, but, it will certainly spell and end to the short and horrid tenure of Christian Benteke.

The Senegalese attacker arrives at Anfield with a five year deal, a price tag believed to be in the region of $34 Million and the long held admiration of his new manager, Jurgen Klopp. Lightening quick, with a silky touch and an inane ability to both pop-up at the right place to score and dribble multiple defenders and make an impact, he will instantly make this stuttering Liverpool team better, as he continues Liverpool’s long held ‘obsession’ with Southampton players. Seemingly set to slot it at either the striker position or on the wing, depending upon injuries, he not only brings a new element to the team, but he also will certainly bring an end to the time of Christian Benteke. The Belgian Centre-Forward has endured a torrid time at Liverpool with the confluence of injury, poor form, managerial changes and all amalgamating into being the second and sometimes third choice to lead the Liverpool line, with 29 games and 9 goals to his name in his loan season in red.

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The centre-forward role is a very specific role, one which is slowly becoming less and less important in this modern age of football, especially in England. With a demand on pace from players and speed of ball movement, the centre-forward role and the demand on holding the ball up for the speedy wingers is really redundant. With only the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Graziano Pelle being championed in such a role, but their pace is able to support that style of play.

An unfortunate fall from grace, Benteke was consistently Aston Villa’s only shining light in the seasons leading up to their relegation, he finished his career with the Villans with 42 goals in 89 games. Now at Liverpool, his rare blend of speed, touch and power will put him in a strong position to be the leading man of Liverpool’s front-line. Blessed with such speed, his ability to play with both back to goal and facing the last defender means he will provide Jurgen Klopp with more versatility then Benteke could. Which is unfortunate, as Benteke is a skilled player, he provides a stability like few others when he is inform, and with teams like Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Crystal Palace circling, it’s not hard to see him bouncing back soon.

Mane brings with him an enviable scoring record where ever he has been. Starting out his career with Metz in Ligue 1 he played a solitary season with them in a more creative role, scoring twice in 22 matches. He started twelve matches before moving on to Red Bull Salzburg in 2012 for $4 Million where he played he 63 games, scoring 31 times. Gaining key experience in Europe, he scored hat-tricks with ease, developing it as a bit of a habit during his time with the Austria club. He quickly established himself as a fan favourite before he moved onto Southampton.

With the Saints, he became known for his blistering pace and creativity in tight spaces, but before long, he had developed his game into a more potent one. He was scoring goals, both on the dribble and on the last man. Long range, short range. It didn’t matter. Along with Graziano Pelle and Shane Long, they made Southampton a potent, goal scoring and exciting outfit that everyone wanted to watch.

His arrival can free up the likes of Adam Lallana, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Coutinho to play their natural roles without bearing further burden of scoring. Mane can play both the creator and the scorer and such a quality will see him be an asset for years to come. With his purchase, Liverpool could line be inclined to trust their talent, expel their unneeded and overpaid and focus the young and exciting talent that they have and that will be the ones who will take them to the next level. I would think, they would line up in one of three ways.

1st Option

GK: Simon Mignolet

RB: Nat Clyne
CB: Joe Gomez
CB: Dejan Lovern
LB: Brad Smith

CDM: Jordan Henderson
CDM: Emre Can

LAM: Saido Mane
CAM: Coutinho
RAM: Roberto Firmino

FWD: Danny Ings

2nd Option

GK: Simon Mignolet

RB: Clyne
CB: Joe Gomez
CB: Dejan Lovern
LB: Alberto Moreno

CDM: Jordan Henderson
CDM: Emre Can

LAM: Adam Lallana
CAM: Coutinho
RAM: Roberto Firmino

FWD: Saido Mane

3rd Option

GK: Simon Mignolet

RB: Alberto Moreno
CB: Joe Gomez
CB: Joel Matip
LB: Brad Smith

CDM: Emre Can

RM: Jordan Henderson
LM: James Milner

RW: Roberto Firmino
CAM: Coutinho
LW: Saido Mane

FWD: Danny Ings

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