Why Liverpool should avoid the temptation of signing Kylian Mbappe and hold on to Sadio Mane
According to a report from The Sun, Liverpool are eyeing a summer swoop for PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, if they end up losing Sadio Mane, who is a transfer target for Real Madrid.
Mbappe has grown into one of the biggest superstars of the game since bursting onto the scenes at AS Monaco in 2016. The Frenchman, having helped the Principality-based outfit to the Ligue 1 title in 2016/17, joined PSG in the summer of 2017, initially on loan before making the deal permanent in 2018.
One of the deadliest forwards in Europe, Mbappe has plundered 90 goals and 49 assists in 120 appearances for Les Parisiens till date. The 2018 World Cup winner has already won two league titles with PSG and looks set for another when the 2019/20 season resumes from suspension.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have enjoyed a spectacular campaign so far. The Reds have lost just one of their 29 Premier League matches and sit comfortably at the top of the table with a 25-point lead over closest competitors and reigning champions Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp’s team have built on their UEFA Champions League success last season and should lift the Premier League title when the season resumes, as they need just two victories in their nine matches. The Reds boast the best defensive record in the league and have scored the second-highest number of goals (66).
Klopp and Liverpool’s recent success has been built on the success of their dangerous attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Salah and Mane were joint Premier League Golden Boot winners last season in the Premier League and have once again been the driving forces behind the Reds’ unchallenged run to the top of the table.
While Firmino hasn’t been firing on all cylinders this season, Salah has bagged 16 goals and 6 assists in the league, while Mane has netted 14 and assisted 9. Between the three, they have scored 206 goals since joining forces upon the arrival of Salah from AS Roma.
Mane, at 28, is in the peak years of his career and has grown into one of the best attackers in the Premier League and Europe. So it is natural that Real Madrid are interested in signing him up and are willing to offer as much as £150m to secure his transfer (h/t The Sun).
Breaking up such a devastating partnership, even if there is the possibility of Kylian Mbappe arriving as a replacement, is something that Liverpool must not entertain.
Mbappe, without a doubt, is one of the most potent attackers in the game currently and at just 21, has age on his side. However, considering that he is on wages of £350,000-a-week at PSG, he would be demanding at least the same at Liverpool, if not more than that figure. Obviously, why would a star like Mbappe take a pay cut to join Liverpool? In comparison, Mane is on a contract worth £150,000-a-week.
This would lead to an imbalance in the club’s entire wage structure and the disparity in wages would also lead to an unrest within the squad as well.
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Moreover, Mbappe’s contract will be expiring in 2022 and should he not sign a new deal with PSG, the Frenchman would be available for a much cheaper transfer fee in the summer of 2021 than the £250m that is being mentioned currently. Even if the Reds get £150m from Mane’s sale, they would still have to invest £100m, which at the moment is absolutely unnecessary.
As appealing as it seems to secure the signing of one of the best young players in Europe, Liverpool have one of the finest attacking partnerships in Salah, Mane and Firmino. Sacrificing that by allowing Mane to join Real Madrid and then to sign Mbappe in a £250m deal would be an imprudent move on the club’s part.
With Mane in his prime, the club should hold on to him and ensure that they reap the rewards of his peak years.