Premier League 2018-19 Jurgen Klopp reveals his biggest mistake as a manager
- The German revealed that his biggest mistake involved one of the biggest stars of his current Liverpool team
Jurgen Klopp recently revealed that the biggest mistake he made in his managerial career was not signing Senegalese attacker Sadio Mane for Borussia Dortmund in 2014. Sadio Mane played in Austria back then with Red Bull Salzburg.
Klopp was very much interested in bringing him to Germany but somehow a move did not break through and Mane joined Southampton that year for a fee of £11.8 million. Mane was an instant hit under Saints boss Ronald Koeman in the Premier League. His blistering pace caused many problems to the defenders.
In his Saints spell, he even broke the record of fastest ever Premier league hat-trick set up by Robbie Fowler. He scored 3 goals in the space of 2 minutes 56 seconds against Aston Villa on the final day of the 2014-15 season.
On the other hand, Klopp struggled with his Dortmund team that particular season and eventually announced that he’ll be leaving the club at the end of it after 7 years in charge.
Klopp was later named the new manager at Liverpool after the Merseyside club sacked Brendan Rodgers following a series of unsatisfactory results. When Klopp’s Liverpool played Mane’s Southampton in the 2015-16 season, the Senegalese scored thrice for the Saints over the two games, including a brace at St. Mary's.
But later, Klopp had a chance to sign Mane again, when Liverpool paid a transfer fee of £34 million to sign the Senegalese on a five-year contract. Mane left Southampton after making 67 appearances for the south-coast club, scoring 21 goals.
Mane settled quickly at Liverpool under Klopp. He was named Liverpool’s player of the season in his first spell for the Merseyside club even after missing a part of the season through injury or international duty.
In his second season, Klopp bought Mane’s fellow African winger Mohammed Salah from AS Roma for a fee of around €42million. Mane was a part of Liverpool’s Fab Four which included Salah, Phillippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. The Fab Four was reduced to Fab Three when Coutinho left the club for a record move to FC Barcelona.
Mane has played a very important role in Liverpool’s attack since he joined the club. Today, Liverpool is considered as one of the best attacking teams in the world and Mane is considered as one of the best wingers in the world.
He scored crucial goals for Liverpool in the Champions League including a hat-trick against Porto. He scored the all-important away goal for Liverpool against AS Roma which helped the club reach the Champions League final.
He even scored in the final but ended up on the losing side. Klopp has turned Mane into a world class player. He is lightning quick, agile and plays a major part in Liverpool’s high pressing system with his defensive contributions all over the pitch.
This season, Mane has scored goals for Liverpool in the Premier League. He has helped his team to the top of the League table, 4 points clear of Manchester City.
Klopp made his biggest mistake by not signing Mane for Dortmund but he made one of his best managerial decisions by signing him for Liverpool 3 years later.Published 21 Jan 2019, 11:54 IST