2K697HM Naples, Italy. 12th Oct, 2022. DORTMUND - Sadio Mane of FC Bayern Munich during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich at the Signal Iduna park on October 8, 2022 in Dortmund, Germany. ANP | Dutch Height | GERRIT FROM COLOGNE Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

Sadio Mane asked if Liverpool “drained” him – after “low point” at Bayern Munich

Sadio Mane was brought off at half-time in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, leading one German journalist to ask if Liverpool “drained” him.

With the offer of a new contract at Anfield on the table, Mane opted to gamble on himself and push for the exit with a year left on his existing deal.

His decision broke up the long-standing front three of himself, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, and accelerated a regeneration of Jurgen Klopp‘s forward ranks.

But while his £35.1 million move to the Bundesliga was seen as a coup for Bayern Munich, things are yet to materialise in that way for player or club.

On Sunday, Mane made his 28th appearance for Bayern, on a trip to Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen, but despite his side leading 1-0 at the break, the Senegalese was replaced by Serge Gnabry as part of a triple change.

Bayern went on to lose 2-1 in a result that handed Dortmund advantage in the title race, and reflecting on Mane’s situation, SPORT1 journalist Kerry Hau was concerned whether working under Klopp at Liverpool “drained” him.

“What’s up with just Sadio Mane?” Hau asked.

The journalist described Sunday’s substitution as a “temporary low point” for Mane, who was “one of the weakest” on the pitch with a “horror record” of just nine touches of the ball.

Rightly, a long-term leg injury in January and February is noted, but it is explained that, since his return, the 30-year-old has “seemed unfit.”

“He lacks speed and explosiveness – in other words, the qualities that had distinguished him for years in Liverpool,” Hau writes.

“However, he is obviously also paying [for] those years in Liverpool.”

The question is then asked: “Has Jurgen Klopp‘s power football drained him?”

Sadio Mane joins Bayern Munich (Credit: Sven Hoppe/dpa/Alamy Live News)

Mane is said to look “visibly uncomfortable” playing as a secondary striker in a 4-4-2, which was “completely different” to the role he enjoyed at Liverpool.

Bayern’s No. 17 is currently on a run of eight games without a goal and, owing partly to his injury and the winter break, he has not scored since October, in a 6-2 thrashing of Mainz.

It is not all doom and gloom for Mane, of course, with 11 goals and five assists in 28 games a decent record, averaging a goal or assist every 112 minutes.

Back in October, he scored five and assisted three in eight games, including goals in three consecutive Champions League games, one of which was the 3-0 victory at Barcelona.

However, it is not flowing as well as Mane would have hoped on swapping Liverpool for Bayern – which is often the case for those who have left Klopp’s side.