Paul Merson is still absolutely baffled by Liverpool’s decision to sell Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich this summer.
With less than a year left on his Reds contract, Mane was allowed to leave after the Bavarian outfit finally met the Premier League club’s asking price.
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The 30-year-old was a terrific servant for Liverpool, helping them win a Premier League title and the Champions League.
Overall, Mane scored 120 goals in 269 matches for the Merseyside club and leaves Anfield a legend.
He has hit the ground running in Munich, netting four in his opening four appearances, including a brace in last weekend’s 7-0 demolition of VfL Bochum.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are struggling to adapt to life without Mane.
They drew their opening two league matches of the campaign before a disappointing defeat against a resurgent Manchester United on Monday.
The Reds welcome Bournemouth to Anfield and should feel confident about picking up their first victory of 2022/23.
Replacing Mane will not be easy, with Luiz Diaz expected to step up this season after a solid start to life in England.
Liverpool paid a reported club-record deal to sign Darwin Nunez from Benfica, however, Merson has slammed the club’s decision to offload Mane, even with the acquisition of the Uruguayan forward.
“No one’s got started yet for Liverpool, no one’s playing well,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“With Sadio Mane, I thought it was the worst bit of business I’ve ever seen in football for a long, long time. It was one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
“£30m for a big-game player. If I’m the owner of the club, I want to win the league and you keep Mane to give yourself the best chance of that.
“Let him go for free next summer, he’s done enough and it’s £30m. I think that’s come back to bite them.
“They haven’t got started but I wouldn’t be worried yet. I’d be amazed if they finished outside the top four.”
Merson expects Liverpool to turn their form around but does not believe the midfield duo of James Milner and Jordan Henderson is good enough.
“You’re talking about a team that can reel off seven, eight, nine wins in a row,” Merson added.
“The first game of the season they fought back and got a draw. Then they played Palace, they weren’t great. They lost to Man United but they have got injuries, key injuries.
“Henderson and Milner playing in midfield together, no disrespect to them two who are great pros but I don’t think they would be playing for Everton this weekend, and they’re playing for Liverpool.”