Andy Robertson names the three players who can replace Sadio Mane at Liverpool
Andy Robertson believes Liverpool have already got the players to fill the hole left by Sadio Mane.
Mane’s exit last summer has coincided with a drastic downturn in form for Liverpool. But asked by BBC 5 Live whether the Reds missed the Senegal legend, Robertson dismissed the idea.
“To be honest, no. Don’t get me wrong, I had a fantastic relationship with Sadio in terms of me and him down the left-hand side for five years. He was a joy to play with, every game,” he said via The Daily Mail. “I loved playing with him, we linked really well. He helped me going back, the way I helped him going forward. And yeah we linked up really well. When he left, there was probably no-one more gutted than me because of the relationship we had.
“But we’ve got fantastic players that can play in their positions. We brought in Darwin [Nunez], who has been really good to start. We’ve got Luis Diaz who has obviously been injured and re-injured and things like that, which is difficult. Jots [Diogo Jota] can play there, who’s got injured.
“We have been a little bit unlucky with injuries, I think once we get them back fully fit then yeah. Look, Sadio was a wonderful player, a Liverpool legend but he wanted to go and he went to Bayern Munich and we wish him all the best. We need to pick up the pieces and I think we’ve got the players to do that.”
Finally, someone has publicly put this flawed theory to bed. Left-wing is one of the areas of the pitch Liverpool are actually the most stacked in. Yet it’s always brought up as a reason for their struggles.
Of course, there is some grounding in the train of thought that Liverpool miss Mane. The Reds are evidently a much worse side than when he was last playing in it. He was a strong and well-liked character around the dressing room and got through a heck of a lot of running for the team.
But to pin this all on Mane leaving would be to over-simplify exactly why Liverpool are struggling so badly. As Robertson says, it would also ignore the quality of his replacements.
Luis Diaz was actually so good on the left last season that he kicked Mane out of his own position. There’s a big argument that Liverpool have actually missed the Colombian’s presence far more than that of his predecessor this season.
Certainly, it’s hard to imagine that the Reds wouldn’t have at least a handful more points had Diaz played more than eight Premier League games. Once he gets back to playing regularly, hopefully this kind of talk can quieten down.
Nunez has also shown since Cody Gakpo’s arrival that he too can be devastating playing from the left. Meanwhile Jota scored just two goals less than Mane last season and has also struggled with injuries. So, we think Robbo is right. Everyone of a Liverpool persuasion truly does miss Mane for plenty of reasons. But it’s time to focus on the players we do have.
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