LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Nov 19 – Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted he made a huge mistake when he didn’t sign Sadio Mane while he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp met with the Senegal international in 2014 while the forward was still at Red Bull Salzburg, shortly before he joined Southampton.
After realising his mistake, Klopp decided to make a £34million move for the 24-year-old in what was his first big signing since taking over the Anfield hotseat.
“With Sadio it was pretty simple because I made the mistake at Dortmund where I didn’t take him,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Saturday’s trip to St. Mary’s for a Premier League match against Southampton.
“We talked. I think everyone knows we met each other and by the end I didn’t feel this [claps hands together].
“Around about three months later I would have punched myself so I knew already that the next chance I had I would take it. So it was not difficult to take this decision, it was very easy.
“When the club came and when Michael Edwards [Liverpool’s new sporting director] said we have an opportunity, no talks were necessary anymore. It was a case of ‘let’s do it’.”
Mane has been a revelation since making the move to Merseyside and has played a key role in the Reds moving to the top of the Premier League table.
“I don’t know why I didn’t sign him before,” Klopp continued. “I like the player, it was more of a feeling.
“At Dortmund we could only get one player for this position, not two or three, so it needed to be exactly the right fit in this moment.
“I’ve said a lot of times, I’m not a genius and I couldn’t exactly imagine where he was in terms of playing in the Austrian league and what does the Austrian league mean for the football [at Dortmund]?
“I have made more mistakes in my life like this but he would have been more expensive if we had taken him to Dortmund and then he had been sold to Liverpool, so all good for Liverpool.
“The more I think about it, that was my first Liverpool decision. Nice.”