Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has lamented Liverpool’s one transfer decision that has cost them this season. The Reds are strugglingly direly this season, and are finding it hard to curb the damage sustained which is going from bad to worse. Liverpool are currently sitting ninth in the Premier League, 21 points adrift of the top of the table and as a result, out of the title race already.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are even struggling to break into the top four, and many fear it will remain that way with the club missing out on the Champions League next season. Liverpool are also out of the domestic cups in FA Cup and League Cup, of which they are the defending champions. While injuries have a played a key role in their downfall, Ferdinand feels it was the Reds’ decision to let Sadio Mane leave in the summer which has massively hampered their season.
Ferdinand feels Liverpool should have rather let Firmino leave than Mane
Sadio Mane’s sale to Bayern Munich indeed raise a lot of eyebrows for a number of reasons. First and foremost being the fact itself that why even Liverpool are letting a player go who is at the peak of his powers. Mane was just on the back of one of his best seasons ever individually, scoring 23 time and providing 5 assists to lead the Reds to a cup double and into the finals of the Champions League.
The second reason being the fee for which Liverpool let Mane join Bayern. The Bavarians paid a mere £28m, at a time when his market value was £62m [according to transfermarkt]. Mane was replaced by Luis Diaz who had arrived in January, and later on, his long term injury again forced the Reds to bring in Cody Gakpo this month, who is still finding it difficult to adapt to life in England.
Ferdinand has claimed that the Merseyside outfit made a huge mistake in selling Mane, and should have rather sold Roberto Firmino, whose contract was anyway up in the summer of 2023. The striker is now reportedly bracing himself up to leave for free in the summer with many potential suitors already holding talks with him.
Speaking on his YouTube podcast, Vibe with FIVE, Ferdinand said:
“Why didn’t they just pay [Mane] the money to stay? I think they let the wrong one go. They should have let Firmino go. I just don’t understand how you let someone who is actually world-class at that moment in time, who ideally would have liked to have stayed if you gave the contract he was looking for, or something similar to what Salah got. I just can’t get my head around it. Every Liverpool fan must be sat there thinking, ‘Wow, how have we let this slip through our hands, a player of that calibre?”
Liverpool actually chose to extend Mohamed Salah’s contract by another three years, until the summer of 2025 making him the club’s highest paid player as well. It was being understood that Mane too had demanded that he be paid at par with the Egyptian, with the Reds rather opting to sell the Senegalese. Mane then left Anfield after six years at the club, having netted 120 goals and 48 assists, while also lifting six trophies.