The departure of Sadio Mane for Bayern Munich and the entry of Darwin Nunes to Liverpool is a story about the evolution of the team and how a tax task was simplified by intelligent methodology …
There has been a discourse over the last week that suggests it the signing of Darwin Nunes put an end to Sadio Mane’s career at Anfield.
Ahead of the Champions League final, Mohamed Salah’s claim that he will stay at Liverpool this summer sparked the same talks: a new beginning for the Senegalese national team.
While getting a first-class replacement and not wanting to lose two world-class strikers for free next year is part of the context of Manet moves to Bayern Munichthe truth is that his release was possible.
The reason is simple: Evolution – on behalf of the player and on behalf of Liverpool. Manet was the first transformer of the Jurgen Klopp era and the club’s success over the last six years is largely due to his contributions on and off the ball.
The Senegalese international has won a new challenge, environment and responsibility, while Liverpool continues the process of advancing the team without being greatly clouded by the mood.
Back in 2018, when the Merseysiders gave priority to retention policy and tied Roberto Firmino, Salah and Manet to new long-term contracts, they visualized a number of scenarios.
The best case was to maximize the trio’s best years as the team developed together and picked up silverware before a measured recovery.
He was aware that the top predators of football on the market – Real Madrid, Barcelona and the new Paris Saint-Germain – could be willing to pay staggering sums to get one of the desired trio.
If the coronavirus pandemic did not stifle the market, in line with the financial crisis of the La Liga giants and the emergence of Killian Mbape, the above felt like the most likely outcome. A big sale would carefully fund Liverpool’s next phase, similar to Philippe Coutinho’s appearance at the Camp Nou.
The club was convinced that Barça would try to hire Firmino and as such added a clause in the agreement with Coutinho, according to which the Catalans will have to pay a 100 million euro bonus over any assessment if they try to attract another Anfield player before 2020.
Another scene that was pondered was that their outstanding players would win enough silverware and infuse so much of themselves into the club that they would naturally look for a new challenge.
Whatever happened, Liverpool were sure of one way out: they would have to build the “next great team” while they were still competitive.
Former sporting director Michael Edwards has bypassed this for the first time since winning the 2019 Champions League, and the recruiting team, while supporting it to do so, has always seen the attack as the most time-consuming to change.
Firmino, Salah and Manet were the machine that powered Liverpool’s blitz before they adapted to become safe bets when a more rounded and steely, proprietary approach materialized.
They worked well together, worked well for each other, and worked out Klopp’s plan to the end. The emotional connection for the trio in the team, between the staff and the fans would also increase the difficulty of rejuvenation.
And yet, within 20 months and with the experience of Edwards successor Julian Ward, Liverpool hired Diogo Hota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunes to run the front line.
This was achieved without shocks, a little fuss and for a combined starting price of £ 142 million.
Giotto and Diaz have already proved to be an incredible value and Nunes is determined to continue this trend.
Manet leaves as a Liverpool legend, with the club’s blessings and deepest gratitude. They would have liked to have banked more, at least £ 5 million outside the £ 35.1 million package imported by Bayern, but his desire to move to Allianz alone, his years of high performance, stable club relations and smooth negotiations with Tiago led to to a happy compromise.
This speaks volumes about Liverpool’s methodology and foresight, that they are losing to one of the best players in the world – a candidate for the Golden Ball – without feeling overwhelming for the club’s ambitions.
The situation with Salah is the next conundrum you have to navigate, and while the threat of leaving a rival in the Premier League free runs out of its end as a negotiation tactic, Liverpool remains calm about the present and the future.
Their quiet discussions with Killian Mbape, although this transfer has never been financially viable (nor politically possible, as Real discovers), reveal a club that conducts due diligence on any plausible scenario – as was the case in 2018.
Liverpool have been measured, which explains why the scale and effectiveness of their refresh, as well as the release of such an exemplary player, feel like another story, not a saga.
Liverpool start the campaign in the 2022/23 Premier League with a lunch trip to the newly promoted Fulham on Saturday, August 6.
This will be the fourth consecutive season in which Liverpool will launch a new campaign against a newcomer to the Premier League.
But after facing Crystal Palace, Jurgen Klopp’s team will face Man United at Old Trafford on August 20.
September will include visits to Everton and Chelsea in September, and Liverpool will also face consecutive clashes against Arsenal and champions Man City on October 8 and 15, respectively.
Liverpool’s last match before the suspension of the season for the Winter World Cup will be against Southampton at Anfield on November 12, before returning to play at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
The Reds then hosted their biggest rivals United on March 4, before tough clashes over consecutive weekends in City (April 1) and against Arsenal at Anfield (April 8), before finishing the season in Southampton.
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