Jurgen Klopp cannot escape the fact that Liverpool are losing one of their “greatest ever players” after reacting to the transfer of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich.
Mane’s six-year spell at Anfield has come to an end after he completed a transfer to Bayern Munich. He leaves the club after being a part of all six of their trophy wins under Klopp’s reign so far.
Now, there will be a new chapter for both club and player. The winger has signed a deal with Bayern until 2025, while Liverpool have already replaced him with Darwin Nunez.
Mane will leave a void in the Liverpool attack despite the calibre of player filling his boots. What’s more, his personality will also be impossible to replace.
Hence, manager Jurgen Klopp has made no secret of how monumental Mane’s departure is. Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, the German tactician admitted they are saying goodbye to someone who remains among the best players on the planet.
That said, he wants to remember the good times they shared at Liverpool, which he admits he could not have predicted the scale of when Mane arrived in 2016.
Klopp said: “It’s a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise.
“One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.
“He leaves with our gratitude and our love. He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And, yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football.
“But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have.
“The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.
“Since he first stepped through the door, he made us better. If someone had told us in that moment what he would go on to contribute and achieve for this club, I’m not sure it would have been possible to comprehend in that moment. Not the scale of it at least. Sadio made it all possible.
“To be that good for such a sustained period and continuously improve season on season – no matter how high he set his own bar in the previous one – is an example to any player anywhere on the planet that professionalism and dedication leads to reward.
“I respect completely his decision and I’m sure our supporters do also. If you love LFC, you have to love Sadio – non-negotiable. It is possible to do this while accepting our loss is Bayern’s gain.
“We wish him nothing but success in every match he plays in, unless, of course, it’s against us. His star will continue to rise, I have no doubts.”
Jurgen Klopp gives three-word Mane message
Klopp capped off his farewell message to Mane in an emotional manner. Reflecting on a previous interview, he attempted to describe his former number 10 in just three words.
The 55-year-old continued: “I remember last season I was asked, in an interview or Q&A from memory, to describe Sadio in three words. I said at the time it’s not possible to do this.
“If I was to try I’d need to be allowed multiple attempts – because there are so many ways you can describe him using three words.
“World class player!
“True club legend!
“Ideal role model!
“The perfect teammate!
“Compassionate, caring person!
“But the three words that feel the most appropriate today are also the hardest to say, ‘Will miss you!’”
Mane made 269 appearances during his time with Liverpool, scoring 120 goals and adding 48 assists. Klopp has only given more Liverpool appearances to Roberto Firmino and James Milner, but now their paths and Mane’s diverge.