Mohamed Salah was Liverpool’s third option signing

Sadio Mané leaving Liverpool It brings with it the end of the iconic trio of strikers at Liverpool that included Senegal star Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, but they may never have come together in the first place.

In 2017, Liverpool signed Salah from Roma in a deal that could easily go down as one of the best in Premier League history, considering the Egyptian’s exploits since returning to England.

His arrival allowed Jurgen Klopp to team him up with Mane and Firmino and in their time together the trio have scored 245 league goals.

They won the Champions League and the Premier League together and are a big part of the reason the Reds are one of the best teams in the world.

Mane’s move to Bayern Munich, confirmed on Wednesday, ends his era, but it wouldn’t really have happened had one of the three preferred targets moved to Anfield before the club turned to Salah.

The trio has been reduced to two.  Image: Alamy
The trio has been reduced to two. Image: Alamy

“Liverpool scouted about 15 wide players between missing out on Salah [when he was at Basel] and sign it,” Times journalist Paul Joyce wrote in 2017.

“Liverpool scouted about 15 wide players between missing out on Salah and signing him.

“Klopp has admitted that it was Dave Fallows, the head of scouting and recruiting, Barry Hunter, the head of scouting, and Michael Edwards, the athletic director, whose background checks extended to espionage missions at training camps and games, who constantly pushed Their case.

“[He joined] only after Liverpool had looked at other targets. Borussia Dortmund refused to let Christian Pulisic out, Julian Draxler was persecuted last January [2017]opting to move to Paris Saint-Germain from Wolfsburg, and Julian Brandt opted to stay at Bayer Leverkusen for fear of not playing regularly at Anfield.

Salah and Mane may never have won the Champions League together.  Image: Alamy
Salah and Mane may never have won the Champions League together. Image: Alamy

Pulisic had arrived at Dortmund just as Klopp was leaving the Bundesliga side and was heavily linked with a move to Anfield at the time of Salah’s move.

The American striker stayed in Germany at the time, but only 18 months later he struck a deal to move to Chelsea, remaining on loan at Dortmund until the summer of 2019.

Draxler’s move to PSG came in January 2017 and things haven’t gone too well for the German since that move, and he hasn’t been the first choice for most of his spell in the French capital.

Just 21 at the time, Brandt was understandably concerned about first-team football and the winger certainly saw plenty of minutes at Bayer Leverkusen.

He has since moved to Dortmund and continued to improve, though he obviously didn’t come close to Salah’s goalscoring feats, but few have.

None of the 'preferred' strikers have done as well as Salah in the last five years.  Image: Alamy
None of the ‘preferred’ strikers have done as well as Salah in the last five years. Image: Alamy

Mane’s signing for Bayern has been greeted with an emotional farewell to both the player and his now former coach, Klopp, after six years at the club.

They would have been a much more different team without him and even more different if Salah had never joined him.

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