Liverpool selling Sadio Mane was the ‘worst business EVER’ claims Paul Merson… as he insists his move to Bayern Munich is behind the Reds’ poor defensive record and that £85m signing Darwin Nunez ‘isn’t in the same league’
Liverpool’s decision to let Sadio Mane join Bayern Munich for £35million was the ‘worst business ever,’ according to Paul Merson.
Mane left the Reds after six years at Anfield back in the summer, and the Reds have struggled ever since his departure.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won just two of their opening seven Premier League games and are already 11 points behind league leaders Arsenal – albeit, with a game in hand.
Sadio Mane joined Bayern Munich in the summer after six successful years at Liverpool
Liverpool have struggled since his exit – with just two wins in their first seven league games
Merson, in his Sky Sports column, has blamed Liverpool’s poor defensive record on Mane’s exit, and insisted that £85million replacement Darwin Nunez ‘isn’t in the same league’ as the Senegalese star.
He said: ‘I’ve said it from day one, in my opinion selling Sadio Mane was the worst business ever. The bloke scores big, big goals. Go through them, first goals, equalisers, winning goals in last minutes, big goals.
‘He led from the front with his closing down, and for me, what they sold him for, I just didn’t get it.
‘Darwin Nunez isn’t in the same league at the moment. Not in the same league at all.
Paul Merson has claimed that Liverpool’s poor defensive record is partly down to Mane’s exit
‘Their problems at the back start from the front. They’re not closing down as a unit – you can go on about how talented that front three was, but they closed down from the front. It only took one more pass, and they’d score.’
Liverpool’s big-name stars at both ends of the pitch have struggled this season, most notably Mohamed Salah and Nunez, who is still taking time to gel in the Premier League.
Nunez didn’t help himself by missing three games for a headbutt on Crystal Palace’s Joachim Andersen.
The Reds have regularly conceded the first goal in their games this season, which was again the case against Brighton.
Merson has insisted that Liverpool new boy Darwin Nunez ‘isn’t in the same league’ as Mane
Mohamed Salah is one of several big-name Liverpool stars to struggle so far this season
Liverpool came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2, before Leandro Trossard sealed his hat-trick with seven minutes left to play.
Klopp’s side next face Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday night before travelling to league leaders Arsenal, who have only dropped points in one out of their eight league games so far this season, on Sunday.
Merson said: ‘I’m not a stats person, so I’m just going off the top of my head – but for me, Mane was a big, big player for Liverpool.
‘To sell him for £30m-odd, which in the world of the Premier League is a cup of tea, wouldn’t they have been better off to keep him and let him go for free?
‘It’s come back to bite them and could cost them a lot more than £30m by the end of the season. If Arsenal win on Sunday, they’re out of the equation in terms of Liverpool catching them, and then there’s only two spaces for the top four.’
Jurgen Klopp’s side at current pace look more likely to be in a top-four fight than a title push