Is Sadio Mane Real Madrid material?
During this period when one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world is struggling in the Spanish La Liga, many performing players across the best leagues in Europe will continue to be linked with a move to Real Madrid. This week, we assess the prospect of an African international, Sadio Mane, switching clubs to play at the highest level. Here are a few reasons why Real Madrid need the services of the Liverpool player.
Of course, one attribute that the biggest players need to have is the swag and confidence to take on defenders. Real Madrid is a club that thrives on fear in their opponents whenever they hear that they are set to face the Spanish team from the capital, but this fear factor has gradually died down since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. The likes of Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Diaz Mariano have lacked that fierce threat that the Portuguese had with the ball at his feet. Sadio Mane has it. The Senegalese international is always on his toes in the English Premier League, sweeping past either Kyle Walker, Antonio Valencia, Kieran Trippier, Hector Bellerin or Cesar Azpilicueta – supposedly the best right backs in the league. His swift touch and low body feint is enough to deal with opponents as he creates a path for himself on his way to goal. Mane also has those Ronaldo-like tricks that shake stubborn defenders and unlocks goal scoring opportunities for his club. Ask Neymar! Real Madrid need that quality and his place in the team will be undoubted if he so chooses to be another Real Madrid Galactico signing.
If not that, then you need to have players who turn up at the biggest games. Arsenal fans have been at Mesut Ozil’s back since his move from Real Madrid due to his inconsistent performances against big teams. Our African is the exact opposite. In fact, Sadio Mane turns up more in the biggest games as evidenced in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid. The Liverpool forward stood up to the test in the absence of Mohamed Salah who unfortunately picked up a hand injury after an altercation with Sergio Ramos. Mane was a constant menace down the left channel and was the one who scored the equalizing goal in the final. Already, Real Madrid have lost to Sevilla and failed to win their local derby against Atletico Madrid as they currently sit in 10th position – an unfamiliar situation for the club. With Mane on their books, they are guaranteed a player who will fight for the pride of the club and performs to his best in such games. The Spanish Giants would probably not be trail in the likes of Barcelona in this early stage of the competition.
In addition, the Hazard factor is a plus for Mane. The fact that Real Madrid are lining up a bid for the Chelsea forward proves they are in need of a player of Mane’s stature. Eden Hazard like Mane, carries his team. He is the player that Chelsea look up to in times of need. This has been the case for quite a number of years which suits the setup of a club like Madrid who idolized Ronaldo and played to his strengths. Sadio Mane also carried his teams from Southampton to Liverpool who recently acquired another great gem in the Egyptian Mo Salah. Mane can easily step into Ronaldo’s shoes and unleash his true potential playing next to the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Marcelo etc. The club is already set up to play for an individual which explains their recent struggles in the Spanish La Liga. With Mane, they will be formidable force again.
Finally, I think it is about time that Real Madrid had an African player in their team. The last time I recall an African player turning up in the famous white jersey was back during Mourinho’s tenure when the Portuguese coach sought the services of Emmanuel Adebayor and Michael Essien. You might wonder why I refer to these old times when Real Madrid have Achraf Hakimi on their books. That’s because the player has not been handed the opportunities to play and is now further down the pecking order with the recent acquisition of Odriozola who competes with Dani Carvajal in the right back spot. It has truly been a while and the club need to think about this proposition if they want to go back to their rightful place at the top.
It seems as if all points are pointing towards the signing of the African forward but he also has his shortcomings. His numbers to be specific, are not enough to stake a claim for one of the biggest club in the world to invest hundreds of millions to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu. Mane still scores goals short of expectations for a club like Madrid who require consistent goals in all competitions. Mane is yet to score more than 20 goals in a single campaign which brings questions about this claim. However, this has been down to the countless injuries that the Liverpool forward picks up as he is a target for all the defenders in the league. Dribblers will always be kicked and tussled as they are not well-protected in the English Premier League. Therefore, it is also tricky to judge this part of Mane’s game. Maybe a move to Madrid will give us all the answers we need.
I think he is ready for a move to Real Madrid. What are your thoughts?