Jamie Carragher claimed that one Liverpool star looked ‘desperate’ to please Jurgen Klopp during Saturday’s narrow home win over Aston Villa.
The Reds had to come from behind to record a 2-1 win over Villa at Anfield, with Trent Alexander-Arnold answering his recent critics with a stunning late winner. However, Carragher believes that Sadio Mane was busting a gut to impress when he arrived as a 75th-minute substitute in the game.
The Senegal international forward came on for Roberto Firmino, as Klopp men’s battled back for victory.
Reds legend Carragher was on co-commentary duty for the match on Sky Sports. During the broadcast he said that 29-year-old forward was trying a bit too hard to impress his boss.
Klopp stated before the match that he was worried about Mane’s loss of form. But the winger certainly put in a shift for the latter part of the game.
Carragher said: “We have seen a lot from Mane of late. Maybe trying to do too much, running at people, desperate to make an impression because he has gone so long without a goal.”
Mane came close to scoring against Villa, having netted seven times and added five assists in the league this season.
There are suggestions that his form has been affected due to interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona in his signature.
However, the former Southampton man is not alone in struggling to replicate his Liverpool form from last season.
The Reds have endured a disastrous defence of their Premier League title. They are also on the brink of a Champions League exit, as they trail Real Madrid 3-1 from their first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Wijnaldum left in the lurch
Meanwhile, Georginio Wijnaldum may have to reassess his future amid reports in Spain that Barcelona will abandon their long-standing plan to sign the Liverpool midfielder.
Wijnaldum continues to be linked with a move to the Catalan club, where he would join up with Ronald Koeman. The Barca boss is reportedly keen to sign him after being impressed during his time in charge of Holland. And with Wijnaldum set to be out of contract this summer, he has a perfect opportunity to secure his services.
For a long time, it has looked as though the 30-year-old’s move to Spain is inevitable. Indeed, some reports have even claimed the deal is as good as done.
However, there has been no official confirmation of that. Meanwhile, Wijnaldum himself recently insisted there has been no developments in regard to the situation.
Now it’s reported by Mundo Deportivo that Barcelona are ready to abandon their planned swoop for Wijnaldum. They claim senior players at Barcelona have met with Koeman and told him they don’t want Wijnaldum to sign. They claim, with young talent Ilaix Moribabreaking through, Barca would be better making other additions instead.
Quite how much sway the players have at Barca remains to be seen. However, Mundo Deportivo claims the stance has forced Koeman into a U-turn and a move for Wijnaldum will no longer be pursued. Instead, it’s claimed they will sign Memphis Depay this summer, and then Neymar in 2022. Both would arrive as free agents.