The Premier League season may have ended but there remains plenty of intrigue in the transfer window, so we’ve transferred Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich on Football Manager 2022 to see how Liverpool cope without the Senegal international.
Liverpool, of course, endured a difficult end to the season, finishing second in the Premier League on the final day, and losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Jurgen Klopp’s side did win the FA Cup and the League Cup but one has to think that the season has been somewhat tinged with disappointment.
There’s a real question as to how Liverpool will cope without Mane, given that he has made up part of a fabled front three previously, alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
As a result, we’ve used the Football Manager 2022 editor to transfer Mane to Bayern, and then had a look at exactly how Liverpool got on without him.
Where did Liverpool finish in the league?
This is a horrible sense of Déjà vu, isn’t it?
Jurgen Klopp’s side were some way off eventual champions Manchester City, though, with this not being anything like the title race that played out in real life this season.
Liverpool ended the season with 84 points, 18 points behind Pep Guardiola’s men.
Liverpool were remarkably inconsistent in comparison to this term, losing six times in the league and drawing six times.
They lost twice to City, while also losing to Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, and Wolves.
The draws came against Crystal Palace, Southampton, Newcastle United, and West Ham, along with two draws against Manchester United.
Did Liverpool replace Mane?
The only player they signed in the summer was Noussair Mazraoui, a right-back who arrived from Ajax for £19m.
In January, they signed Brazilian striker Pedro from Fluminese.
Liverpool did not go all out to sign a new winger and that does make sense, given that Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz are both in the club’s squad.
Did other players step up?
Luis Diaz was exceptional throughout the campaign and made a total of 39 starts in all competitions, scoring 12 goals and laying on six assists.
Jota made 16 starts and came off the bench 30 times, so he was not promoted to an integral role, but he still scored 12 goals and laid on four assists.
Elsewhere, Salah scored a massive 27 goals in all competitions and Firmino scored 14 times.
They all stepped up when needed.
How did Liverpool do in other competitions?
Without Mane, Liverpool went trophyless.
They got to the FA Cup final but lost 2-0 to Manchester City in the showpiece at Wembley.
In the League Cup, they lost 1-0 to Aston Villa in the fourth round, a disappointing showing in a tournament they won in real life this season.
In Europe, it was déjà vu all over again. We’re sorry to say this, Reds fans, but they lost to Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.
A poor showing from Klopp’s men, who are used to winning, or at least reaching the final, of pretty much every major competition they play in.
How did Mane do?
Now, it should be said here that we didn’t load the Bundesliga as a playable league for this simulation but Mane’s impact can be clearly seen.
He made 37 appearances for the Bundesliga giants in all competitions and scored 15 goals, while also laying on three assists.
Bayern won the Bundesliga in his first season, and also won the DFB-Pokal.
In addition, the German side reached the Champions League final; to get there, they beat Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Manchester City.
But the final was one step too far, with Mane again left heartbroken as they lost 1-0 to Real Madrid after extra time.
It’s fair to say, then, that Mane enjoyed a far more successful season at Bayern than he would have done at Liverpool.
Keep it tuned to GiveMeSport for all the latest gaming news!