Sadio Mane has “not integrated” himself since his move from Liverpool and looks “isolated” at Bayern Munich, says Didi Hamann.
The Senegal striker swapped Liverpool for Bayern this summer after looking for a new challenge. The Bundesliga champions paid £28.8m for the 30-year-old as they looked to replace Robert Lewandowski
The transfer was slammed by Paul Merson, who labelled it “the worst piece of transfer business I’ve ever seen”.
Lewandowski was an out-and-out No.9 and had an incredible record of 344 goals in 275 games for Bayern. That was always going to be a difficult act to follow for Mane, who left an enviable Liverpool record behind him.
The former Southampton man blasted 120 goals and registered 49 assists in 269 games for the Anfield club. And his time in Germany started well last month with three goals in his first three games in the Bundesliga.
Mane also netted in both the DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup, but since the end of August his form has gone awry.
Dropped to the bench
He has failed to scored in his last three appearances in the Bundesliga and drew blanks in the Champions League wins over Inter and Barcelona. And he was dropped to the bench against Stuttgart.
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann has deployed Mane down the middle. Although he did start on the left in the 2-0 win against Barcelona. But his performances have been under scrutiny and Hamann does not think the player looks happy at the Allianz Arena.
“He is not integrated,” he told GMX.
“I saw him at Liverpool FC, where he played through the middle. That is not his position. Now he’s taking that position at FC 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.
Mane not the answer as a No.9
“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.”
Hamann believes Mane should be dropped to the bench for a sustained period after a drop off in September.
“In my opinion, there are two players who absolutely must play – and they are Sane and Musiala. These are the two best players at the moment,” added the former Liverpool midfielder.
“I think that Mane should also be put on the bench if he continues to play so little part in Bayern’s game. You could of course put Mane aside. He would be better off there.
“However, they already have three great players there in Musiala, Sane and Coman. Mane in the middle is not the solution either. You should have known that if you watched his games at Liverpool.”