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Jamie Carragher admits Sadio Mane tweet "hasn't aged well" as he makes Ballon d'Or claim

By Samuel Meade

Jamie Carragher confesses his take on Sadio Mane's move to Liverpool "has not aged well" after he questioned the fee back in 2016.

The winger was signed from Southampton after two years in the Premier League during Klopp's first summer of recruitment. He'd shown his quality on the south coast yet many, including Carragher, questioned why the Merseyside outfit were paying over £30m to acquire his services.

At the time Mane was among Liverpool's most expensive players, but scored on his debut in a 4-3 win over Arsenal at the Emirates. Since then he's gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the finest attackers on the planet en route to numerous trophies with the Reds.

Carragher admits, nearly six years on, that his original take on Mane's transfer couldn't have been more wrong. He wrote in the Telegraph : "When Mane joined Liverpool in June, 2016, I gave my immediate verdict on the deal via social media. 'I think £30 million is expensive,' I wrote. That tweet has not aged well. Neither have many of the responses agreeing with it. There was a consensus that Mane was overpriced.

"His fee from Southampton was widely reported to be £37m. When I spoke to Liverpool’s chief executive at the time, Ian Ayre, he was keen to stress the cost was nearer £32m. The distinction was important because the higher figure would have made Mane Liverpool’s most expensive ever signing.

"And many recent record Anfield purchases such as Christian Benteke and Andy Carroll had failed to live up to their price tag. It shows how unsure I was about how good Mane was that the cost of the deal was concerning."

HAVE YOUR SAY! Is Sadio Mane more important than Mo Salah? Let us know in the comments

He then added: "Today, it seems ridiculous for supporters or pundits to be quibbling over that extra £5m for Mane. Whatever he cost Liverpool, he was a bargain. He was the first big purchase of the Klopp era and has set the tone for the excellent recruitment ever since."

Carragher has also cited Mane as the Premier League's most likely Ballon d'Or winner - ahead of teammate Mo Salah. That is partly down to his success with Senegal, who edged out Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year. The 30-year-old finished fourth in the 2019 Ballon d'Or standings.

Mane's contract at Liverpool is winding down and there have been reports suggesting he's frustrated by the continued focus on Salah's future. Bayern Munich have been linked with the forward.

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Dive Deeper:
Jamie Carragher admits his initial opinion of Sadio Mane at Liverpool has ‘not aged well’
Carragher’s initial assessment of the forward’s signing from Southampton was that Mane was ‘expensive’
Jamie Carragher on the 'underrated and underestimated' player he won't allow to leave Liverpool
Jamie Carragher has heaped praise on Liverpool forward Sadio Mane and tipped him as a frontrunner along with Real Madrid's…
Mohamed Salah makes "world's best claim" and cites Liverpool numbers as "proof"
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is leading the race to win the Premier League's Golden Boot with 22 goals, while he…
Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry are on the same page with Sadio Mane and Liverpool
Sadio Mane scored the crucial goal as Liverpool came back from a goal down to beat Aston Villa and keep…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Jurgen Klopp gives Mohamed Salah update as Virgil van Dijk substitute explained
Mohamed Salah was forced out of Liverpool's FA Cup final win against Chelsea after suffering an injury during the first…
Kylian Mbappe helps cast doubt on Mohamed Salah's bold 'best in the world' claim
Liverpool forward Mo Salah has declared that his stunning record since moving to Anfield makes him stand out as the…
Get all your news in one place