Jamie Carragher reveals his Twitter embarrassment at branding Sadio Mane ‘expensive’ when Liverpool signed him for £30m in 2016… and says the attacker is in a shoot-out with Karim Benzema for the Ballon d’Or
- Liverpool’s £30m deal for Sadio Mane initially raised eyebrows back in 2016
- Jamie Carragher questioned it on Twitter but admits his post ‘hasn’t aged well’
- Mane has been a complete hit with 119 goals and leading them to five trophies
- Carragher now calls him a ‘bargain’ and a ‘catalyst’ for Liverpool’s success
Jamie Carragher has admitted his Tweet calling Sadio Mane’s £30m move to Liverpool ‘expensive’ in 2016 ‘hasn’t aged well’ after his sensational career at Anfield, and believes he could challenge Karim Benzema for the Ballon d’Or.
Mane has gone from strength to strength for Liverpool this season with 22 goals in all competitions – and Carragher called him his ‘favourite player’ after his match-winning goal at Aston Villa and claiming he ‘won’t let him leave’ amid speculation he could sign for Bayern Munich.
The Liverpool legend, writing in his column for the Telegraph, says there was ‘collective amnesia’ about how underrated Mane was at the time of signing from Southampton six years ago and admits he has been left red-faced about his own doubts around the deal.
Jamie Carragher (R) has admitted his embarrassment after questioning Sadio Mane’s £30m move to Liverpool in 2016
He said there is ‘collective amnesia’ about how underrated Mane was when he signed
‘When Mane joined Liverpool in June, 2016, I gave my immediate verdict on the deal via social media. “I think £30 million is expensive,” I wrote.
‘That tweet has not aged well. Neither have many of the responses agreeing with it.
‘It shows how unsure I was about how good Mane was that the cost of the deal was concerning. When players perform as Mane has, there appears to be a collective amnesia of how the deal was perceived when it was announced.’
His Tweet read: ‘Liked Mane at Southampton but I do think 30 mil is expensive but if he delivers it’ll be worth it like every transfer.’
Mane has been a sensation at Anfield – netting 119 times and leading the club to five trophies
Carragher believes his incredible performances could see him named as the best player in the world – challenging likely frontrunner Benzema for the prize – and warned any club that wanted to sign him this summer will ‘face a blockade’.
‘When I said earlier this week that Sadio Mane will have to get past me before he ever leaves Liverpool, I was only half joking,’ he said.
‘Any club trying to lure him from Anfield this summer ought to face a blockade. Mane is my favourite Liverpool player of the Jurgen Klopp era – often underrated and underestimated.
‘Since January, the tendency to overlook him while Mohamed Salah grabbed all the attention has slightly changed.
Carragher believes Mane’s form could see him challenge Karim Benzema for the Ballon d’Or
He says the tendency to overlook Mane in favour of Mohamed Salah is starting to change
‘If Mane continues his current form he may help inspire Liverpool to four trophies, including the FA Cup against Chelsea this weekend. He will also be the Premier League’s most likely winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or.’
Now Carragher insists the player was a ‘bargain’ and feels he has been a ‘catalyst’ for Liverpool’s recent success by delivering each season to allow boss Jurgen Klopp to reach the highest level and lure more top stars to Anfield.
‘Today, it seems ridiculous for supporters or pundits to be quibbling over that extra £5m for Mane. Whatever he cost Liverpool, he was a bargain.
‘He was the first big purchase of the Klopp era and has set the tone for the excellent recruitment ever since.
‘Without Mane being so good, Liverpool would not have qualified for the Champions League at the end of his first season, which enabled Klopp to lure Salah and Van Dijk, and then later Alisson Becker and Fabinho. Mane’s excellence was the catalyst at a key point in Klopp’s rebuilding process.’
He now sees Mane as a ‘bargain’ after hailing him as his favourite player in the Klopp era
Mane has a total of 119 goals in 266 outings for Liverpool, and has only failed twice to hit 20 plus goals each season across six campaigns.
Carragher had gushed about Mane in the Sky Sports studio after Monday night’s crucial win at Villa Park and hailed him for his dedication to the team.
‘When I have watched Liverpool as a fan, Sadio Mane is my favourite player,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘There is just something about Mane. He’s sacrificed himself at times and the shift he puts in.
‘He, along with Salah, has been doing that for five years – they are never injured! They are there week in, week out for 90 minutes, getting the numbers up there every week. What they have done for this football club is unbelievable.
‘I’m a huge fan of Sadio Mane and I can assure you he will be going nowhere because I will not let him go to Bayern Munich, he’d have me to deal with!’
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