Bayern Munich CEO Hasan Salihamidzic insists Sadio Mane just needs time to get used to life in Germany, amid claims he could quit the club and return to Liverpool.
Mane made himself a hero at Liverpool by registering 120 goals during six years at Anfield. This helped the Reds win numerous trophies including the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
Mane told Liverpool chiefs he wanted a new challenge earlier this year. And the club could do little to stop him from going after failing to tie him down to a contract extension.
As such, the forward went on to join Bundesliga giants Bayern in a £35million deal. He arrived in Bavaria to help replace Robert Lewandowski, following the Pole’s move to Barcelona.
Mane has managed to find the net five times in 11 outings for Bayern so far this campaign. However, he didn’t score in his last four league appearances prior to the recent international break.
Due to the 30-year-old’s incredibly high standards, this has led to concern that he may be struggling to adapt to life at Bayern.
Didi Hamann gave Liverpool hope of potentially re-signing Mane on September 19 by claiming he looks ‘isolated’ at Bayern.
“He is not integrated. I saw him at Liverpool where he played through the middle. That is not his position,” Hamann said.
Hamann analyses Sadio Mane struggles
“Now he’s taking that position at Bayern as well. He is at his best when he comes from the outside. He doesn’t look happy to me.
“Other players like Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala or, in defence, Lucas Hernandez, who is injured at the moment, are putting in outstanding performances.
“Nobody is talking about Mane at the moment. He seems isolated and hardly takes part in the game. FC Bayern has to get a grip on that.”
Salihamidzic has jumped to the attacker’s defence, brushing off claims he could leave the Allianz Arena, and urging Bayern fans to show patience.
Bayern chief urges fans to give player time
During an interview with German outlet Bild (via Goal), the former Bayern and Juventus midfielder said: “Sadio still needs a little time, he has to get used to the Bundesliga too, but he will.
“I speak regularly with him. I know what it’s like to arrive as a newcomer to a team, in a different country, in a different city, in a slightly different football culture.
“Sadio is in this process, everything will soon be more familiar to him and we will soon see that on the pitch too. He is one of the best players in the world, we will still have a lot of joy with him.”
Salihamidzic is a good person for Mane to speak to about his struggles. The chief left his native Bosnia as a teenager to play for German side Hamburger SV.
Obviously, Mane is at the complete other end of his career and should adapt more quickly than Salihamidzic did. However, the Senegal international needs to continue having conversations with those around him about what he is finding tough, so club officials can rectify these issues.
This will help Mane to adjust to Bayern properly and really start to fire in the goals.