Sadio Mane news: How Jurgen Klopp's first big signing became key to glory

With Sadio Mane on his way to Bayern Munich, Planet Sport looks at the key role he played in Liverpool's evolution under Jurgen Klopp.

A likeable, dependable and influential goalscorer, Sadio Mane's arrival at Liverpool from Southampton was questioned by some, but he went on to become a Reds legend after winning every trophy possible.

One of Jurgen Klopp's huge success stories at Anfield is the formation of his now famed front three, and Mane played an often underrated part in what became a devastating trio alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

The Senegal star departs after another incredible season, winning two cups with the Reds but also claiming the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualification with his country

A terrific team-mate on the field, and an even better person off it, Mane is a huge favourite both with the players and fans of Liverpool, and his departure will leave a huge hole in the side.

With Divock Origi also leaving this summer and Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino having just a year left on their contracts, Mane's exit could signal the beginning of the end of Liverpool's effervescent front line.

What did Sadio Mane win at Liverpool?

With 120 goals from 269 appearances, Mane has put in some shift over six seasons at Anfield, and helped the Reds to win every trophy on offer under Klopp.

He scored 13 goals in his first season to help Liverpool qualify for the Champions League, then fired them into the 2018 final with 10 goals.

That 2018/19 season Mane made history by becoming just the fourth player to score in every round of the Champions League in the same season.

Defeat to Real Madrid proved to be just the catalyst, as the Champions League crown was won the very next season, to be followed by the Super Cup and World Club Cup and ultimately, the big one of the Premier League.

And not just any old Premier League title, but the most dominant we've ever seen with still seven games left when the Reds ended their 30-year title drought.

The two domestic trophies this season completed the set for Mane, who threw in the Africa Cup of Nations this season as well just for good measure!

How Mane was key to Liverpool evolving under Klopp

Klopp's first major signing in the summer of 2016, Mane made an instant impact with a fabulous debut goal at Arsenal as he showed how dangerous he was from the right wing.

A year later, a certain Mohamed Salah arrived, and Mane then showed his versatility by taking up a left forward role that few thought he could play - but how they were wrong.

With Firmino in the middle pulling the strings and Salah on the right knocking in goals for fun, this Liverpool trio of red arrows just carved teams apart.

And many a time it was Mane with the crucial goal, while every single time he was the epitome of work rate when chasing up and down the left flank.

Defensive duties, pressing from the front, they all played a part in Klopp's 'heavy metal' football that often blew teams away before they'd even known it - especially at Anfield.

And just in this season Mane has shown yet another string to his bow after being deployed down the middle thanks to Firmino's injury problems.

Twelve goals from 18 games playing down the middle showed that Mane is the ultimate modern forward player, and one that will leave a huge gap at Anfield.

Klopp on Mane - he grew up with us

Signing Mane showed how Liverpool would be doing their business under Klopp, picking a talented player that had some inconsistency, and find a way to get the best out of him.

It's a trick the Reds have done time and time again over the last few years, but in Mane they had the blueprint, as Klopp explained.

"I remember this unbelievably talented boy we got from Southampton who was really outstanding skill-wise but just lacked a bit of consistency," Klopp said of Mane last season.

"So people may have watched the wrong game of his and thought "Really? That's a lot of money for him" but we were 100 percent sure about him.

"Consistency was the key and how he performs now and the level he performs at is unbelievable.

"He's the complete player, offensively and defensively, he's world class. He grew up here, and matured here and we were lucky enough to have him around when that happened."

READ MORE: Bayern Munich complete signing of Liverpool striker Sadio Mane

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