Football - Senegal: Fans in Senegal undecided about Sadio Mané's future

Sadio Mané en Arabie Saoudite
Football - Senegal: Fans in Senegal undecided about Sadio Mané's future

Sadio Mané's situation at club level continues to worry fans in Senegal. Pushed towards the exit, the Senegalese international remains adamant that he will fight to reverse the trend. Recent statements by Munich coach Thomas Tuchel have left fans of the former Liverpool man in a state of shock. For most of them, Sadio Mané should not be stubborn and should instead opt for a move away from Bavaria.

The divorce between Bayern Munich and Sadio Mané seems increasingly inevitable. Last week, in a press conference, Thomas Tuchel made an unequivocal statement condemning Sadio Mané to a departure from the club or a season on the bench behind Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry in the hierarchy on the left side of Bayern's attack. In Senegal, it's with great emotion that Mané's fans are dealing with the German club's treatment of him, a year after his arrival to great fanfare.

"We're devastated by Sadio Mané's treatment".
After a transfer from Liverpool to Bayern that was widely acclaimed by his fans last summer, Sadio Mané is going through the most difficult period of his career. It's an episode the Bambali-born player has not taken kindly to, but even more so in Senegal."After complaining about Sadio Mané's treatment at Liverpool compared to Salah, and after hearing Sadio tell them that 70% of them wanted him to leave Liverpool and that he was going to do what they expected of him, the Senegalese felt involved in a decision that was very important for the rest of his career," recalls Astou Thiam. "Today, when you see what's happening at Bayern, the treatment Sadio is receiving, not only from the directors but also by the German press, which is constantly picking on the Senegalese, what you feel is desolation, compassion," she adds.

Benjamin Sagna, for his part, speaks of Tuchel's "outrageous" remarks, while recalling the reasons for such a turnaround by Bayern against Mané."It's true that in soccer everything happens very quickly.An injury can change the course of a career, and in Sadio's case it's a knee injury.With the weight of age, it's always difficult to get back to his best, but this injury came at the worst possible time, on the eve of a World Cup where he was expected to be a superstar with his 2nd place in the Ballon d'Or. This missed opportunity impacted on the end of his season. A substitute status, team-mates who sometimes play the individualist game.An accumulation of frustration that explains his inconsistent performances," he explained.

"Bayern managers saw an impulsive Sadio Mané..."
Senegal supporter but also Bayern fan, Mounir Sonko explains that the incident with Sané tipped the Senegalese's future in Bavaria."Tuchel's statement puts Sadio Mané in an uncomfortable situation.He's made it clear that he's not part of his plans, and that he can no longer afford an average season like last year (...).The fight with Leroy Sané showed the Bavarian directors a different side of Sadio Mané. They saw a Sadio Mané who was impulsive and violent, a Sadio who was on the verge of exploding at the drop of a hat. I'm among those who believe that Leroy Sané never called him a dirty nigger," he maintains.

More than risky choice to stay at Bayern Under contract until June 2025, Sadio Mané and his clan persist in staying in Bavaria despite all the unfavorable signals. But for Astou, all is not lost. Sadio Mané is a player who respects his commitments and always wants to perform well on the pitch," she says. There's always hope. The Senegalese know their player well. They've already experienced a similar situation with the Senegalese team's failure to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.They supported him and saw him give his all at the last African Cup of Nations. We're still behind Sadio Mané, we believe in him. There's a period of adjustment to take into account, and the challenge of regaining his physical fitness after his serious injury.He can show his best face and finally perform up to Bayern's expectations," she hopes.

"We can't talk about ingratitude or mean treatment"

This situation is "common" in the world of soccer, Astou reminds us, and she understands the Bavarian club's position."The player's performance is the most important thing for the directors. The human factor comes in 2nd place. We can't talk about ingratitude or mean treatment of Sadio by the Bavarian directors. All we can see is a club, a company that had bet on a player who ultimately failed to live up to expectations. Something has broken down in the relationship between the two. Despite Tuchel's rhetoric, Sadio Mané has to earn his place, even if Coman and Gnabry fared better than he did last season".

Mounir, on his part, maintains that Bayern's directors have other priorities than building around the Senegalese. "Bayern are on the Harry Kane trail.To buy the English striker, they have to get out the chequebook and offer him a big salary.Sadio Mané came to make us forget Lewandowski.With his injury, his age and everything else that went on during his season, the directors preferred to take this money and invest it in Harry Kane, letting Sadio Mané go. But I see that Sadio insists and persists on staying and proving that he can do better. If Bayern buy Harry Kane, they'll be 5 with Musiala, Coman, Gnabry, Leroy Sané and Sadio for two places on the flanks. I'd advise him to look elsewhere," he suggests.

He concludes, however, by noting the legendary uncertainty of a soccer season, which could benefit Mané."If he stays, with the competition, the accumulation of games, fatigue, injuries, he may have a chance, but a chance under pressure that must necessarily be seized. So it would be better for him to leave for a team where you're counted on, with the status of an undisputed starter".

"I'd advise him to move to Saudi Arabia".
A departure from Bayern is currently the most widely shared hypothesis in fan forums in Senegal. Like Mounir, but for other reasons, Benjamin also favours a move to Saudi Arabia.This season was supposed to be one of renewal for him," he says.It's a pity he's not respected at Bayern (...) Given that he's being pushed towards the exit, I'd advise him to move to Saudi Arabia.Sadio Mané is a social player on whom a whole country, a whole region and a whole village benefit from his charitable ambitions".

Since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo last winter, the Saudi Pro League has continued to change. This revolution has even accelerated with the signing of major players from European leagues. Édouard Mendy (Chelsea), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea)... "Many people are mistaken about the level of the Saudi League," says Benjamin. There are some very good players, and we can be there and remain competitive, like Vincent Aboubakar.He was phenomenal at the AFCON in 2022, where he finished top scorer and was even preferred to Choupo-Moting as Cameroon's first-choice striker", he adds.

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