Paul Merson has doubled down on his criticism of the decision to let Sadio Mane leave Liverpool and feels he should have stayed for one more season.
Mane, 30, spent six years at Anfield, scoring 120 goals from 269 appearances in all competitions.
The Senegal hitman formed a superb attacking trio alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
And he left the north-west giants having won multiple trophies during his spell at the club.
The African ace won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup.
And it was a shock when he revealed that 2021-2022 would be his last in a Liverpool shirt.
The former Southampton ace joined Bayern Munich for a fee that could rise to £35m with add-ons.
He has scored six goals from 14 Bundesliga outings. In his absence, Liverpool have struggled to tenth spot in the Premier League ahead of Monday’s Merseyside derby.
They are unlikely to qualify for the Champions League, needing to bridge an 11-point gap to fourth-placed Newcastle United.
Indeed, qualifying for any European competition might be a tough ask from their current position.
Merson was incensed when Liverpool sold Mane last summer and said so at the time.
He predicted it might ‘come back to bite them’ but felt they would still finish in the top four.
And now the ex-Arsenal forward has reiterated his stance, suggesting losing him for nothing would have been preferable to the current situation.
“It was the worst £30million ever,” he said on Sky Sports News. “Honestly, you’d have been better off keeping him for another year and letting him go for free.
“He’d give enough to the club for him to go free, anyway, for them.
“100 percent (he would have made a significant difference). People have short memories.”
Mane void yet to be filled
Liverpool have struggled at both ends of the pitch. They have bagged 34 goals but that is a long way off the 53 scored by Manchester City and Arsenal’s total of 46.
But defensive issues have haunted them all campaign and seen them swept aside by teams they would expect to beat.
The Reds have picked up just one point from their last four league games. They conceded nine and scored just once in hefty losses against Brentford, Brighton and Wolves.
And a 0-0 draw with Chelsea is the only point they have garnered since December 30. It is all a far cry from recent successes and comes despite the arrival of Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
Injuries have hampered his progress but the Uruguay interantional has been wasteful in front of goal.
The 23-year-old has netted just five times from 15 top-flight outings and drawn criticism from pundits and fans alike.
It seems likely that Jurgen Klopp will look to strengthen his forward ranks further during the summer.
Mane was not just a goal scorer but he also provided many assists during his time at Liverpool.
Klopp would love to have him in the ranks, with a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid lurking on the horizon.
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