Jurgen Klopp fulfils Jamie Redknapp prophecy as Liverpool sign Sadio Mane replacement

Liverpool's Salah wins PFA Player of the Season

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Just as Liverpool fans were bracing themselves to mourn the inevitable departure Sadio Mane, the club have swiftly moved to snap up in-demand Benfica marksman Darwin Nunez. In doing so, not only have the Reds landed themselves Europe’s most sought-after striker, but they have gone some way to proving Jamie Redknapp’s prophecy to be true.

Weeks before Mane expressed his desire to move on to pastures new, to Bayern Munich to be precise, there was much speculation surrounding how Liverpool might cope should they lose another of their famed forward line. Back then, the spotlight was shone on Mohamed Salah as rumours of his ongoing contract stand-off dominated discussions regarding the Reds.

Amid reports the Egyptian was eyeing wages in the region of £400,000-per-week, and Liverpool unwilling to bow to his demands, the topic of how the club might fare should they lose the forward, potentially on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer, was rife. Would Liverpool be able to move on if a critical component of their front three departed?

According to Redknapp, there was no doubt they would. Discussing player power and whether Liverpool would feel tempted to cave in to Salah’s staggering contract stipulations, the ex-Red made it perfectly clear that the club should stand their ground as they would have no trouble recruiting a top-class striker replacement.

In his eyes, there was only one of Jurgen Klopp’s ranks deemed irreplaceable. And the player in question was neither named Salah nor Mane.

“The players have the power, because of they contractual situations,” Redknapp told Sky Sports last month following Liverpool’s 2-1 comeback win over Southampton. “One thing I learned from being at this club is that when you are doing well, they look after you. They want to reward you.

“I am sure Mohamed Salah has been offered a vast amount of money. But sometimes you have to think, if we give him that much, what does Virgil van Dijk want? Virgil van Dijk, for me, is the most important player at the club.

“I wouldn’t give anyone more money than him. I know strikers should get more – that’s always been the way it is. But he should be on the most. He is the most important one. They will find another Mo Salah, but you won’t find another Van Dijk.

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“Liverpool could get someone else to replace him. His goals, his numbers are unbelievable, but there will always be another great striker who comes to this club. They’ve had so many in the past and they will have so many in the future.”

And while it’s Mane who appears destined to depart Anfield this summer, not Salah, Redknapp’s sentiment still applies. For all of Mane’s marvellous skillset, the Senegalese striker can be replaced – and he promptly has been following the arrival of Nunez.

Liverpool have moved fast to sign Mane’s successor, managing to do so before the 30-year-old has even packed his bags. And though it remains to be seen how the latest in Liverpool’s long line of illustrious striker’s will fare, signing Nunez is certainly a statement of intent.

Not only have the Reds fired a warning to the rest of Europe in completing a coup for the 22-year-old hotshot, but they’ve also shown that Redknapp was right: Liverpool will long live on after Mane and Salah leave. It’s the eventuality of one day having to replace Van Dijk which will cause the club the most unrest. But that’s an conundrum for another day.

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