Liverpool have lost their best player this summer in the shape of Sadio Mane, according to West Ham United forward Michail Antonio.
The new Premier League season is about to get underway. As usual, Liverpool will be competing for the title, trying to wrestle the trophy back from champions Manchester City. But both clubs have made several changes ahead of the new campaign.
City have welcomed Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to their attack, which has been deprived of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have brought in Darwin Nunez after bidding farewell to Mane.
All have been high-profile moves, which have been impossible to avoid – including for their competitors. Indeed, West Ham forward Antonio has now given his own take about Liverpool losing Mane.
The Senegal international was sold to Bayern Munich one year ahead of the expiry of his contract. For Antonio as an outside observer, Liverpool have let go of their best player, who brought the best out of retained star Mohamed Salah.
Antonio asked a Liverpool supporter on the Footballer’s Football Podcast: “I want to know, how do you feel about losing Mane?
“In my eyes Mane was your best player, overall he was your best player. How do you feel about losing him?”
Later giving his own take to his own question, Antonio claimed the sale of Mane was unnecessary, due to the benefits of having him compete with Salah for goals.
The Jamaica international claimed: “I don’t feel like they needed to sell him.
“I think that rivalry they had and that push that Mane was giving Salah and that Salah was giving to Mane, I think that was good for Liverpool. They had that rivalry on the pitch and demanded the best from each other.
“That rivalry they had and everything they had was good for Liverpool.”
How much will Liverpool miss Sadio Mane?
Last season, Mane scored 23 goals – a tally only bettered at Liverpool by Salah’s 31. The Egyptian signed a contract extension in the summer, whereas his former teammate took the alternative route.
It will be interesting to see how Salah gets on alongside the likes of Nunez, Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota instead. Liverpool certainly have enough attacking firepower, but only time will tell how much they miss Mane.
He will be hoping to enjoy success in a different setting over in Germany. Both Liverpool and Mane have won a trophy each since their separation – the Community Shield and the DFL-Supercup respectively.
Clearly, both are capable of succeeding without each other. But over the course of the season, it could be another matter altogether. Indeed, there are reasons for optimism, but football can be unpredictable.