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Mane traveling a bumpy road back to happiness

Sadio Mane. Photo via @Bundesliga_EN

Berlin, Germany | Xinhua | Sadio Mane has been through happier days in his career.

Several titles with his former side of Liverpool and himself being awarded African Footballer of the Year twice might tell the story.

After a goalless September for his club Bayern Munich, a goal scored for Senegal’s national team in a 2-0 friendly victory over Bolivia might now deliver a ray of hope and improve the 30-year-old’s mood.

Over the past weeks, he was said to be one of the faces standing for Bayern’s malaise, caused by four games without a victory in the national league, making the Bavarians drop to a disappointing fifth position.

Following an overwhelmingly good start garnished with five goals in the domestic league and Champions League, things turned bad lately for Mane.

Ahead of Bayern’s encounter against Leverkusen this Friday evening and followed by weeks of detailed analysis, not only coach Julian Nagelsmann has been facing growing criticism.

Several pundits, such as former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann, demanded to give Mane a break and leave him out at least temporarily.

From Hamann’s perspective, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala have outpaced Mane.

Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic rejected demands and backed the man whom fans expected to replace the former goal machine Robert Lewandowski.

“Don’t forget, he is the new kid in town having to adjust to a new league and club, a new country and language,” Salihamidzic said, adding that “He will get along sooner or later.”

Salihamidzic demanded patience as “changes like that take a while.”

If appointing Mane again, Nagelsmann might puzzle over the best position as Mane started his Bayern journey as a striker accompanied by a second force but then changed to the left wing.

Nagelsmann said he is convinced that Mane is working his way back to happiness shortly.

This Friday evening in Leverkusen seems a perfect opportunity to return to success for the forward as he promised, “I can do better.”

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