Joshua Kimmich insists Sadio Mane was NOT to blame for Bayern’s shaky form at times last season – as the forward closes in on his move to Al-Nassr
- Joshua Kimmich has defended Sadio Mane’s debut season at Bayern Munich
- Mane scored just 12 goals and was suspended for punching Leroy Sane last year
- The Sengalese could be about to exit Bayern with a move to Saudi side Al-Nassr
Joshua Kimmich has leapt to the defence of teammate Sadio Mane after the Senegalese’s disappointing season at Bayern Munich.
Mane is reportedly on the verge of quitting the Bundesliga champions after just one season to join Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr.
It is believed Bayern have accepted a bid of around £34m for the 31-year-old, where he’ll put a difficult year behind him to move to the Saudi Pro League.
However, Kimmich has some sympathy for Mane and has defended the forward and his performances last season.
‘He played a very good first half of the season last season and had good stats.’ The German international stated in an interview with Bild.
Joshua Kimmich has defended his teammate Sadio Mane’s first season at Bayern Munich
Mane scored just 12 goals for Bayern and could be set for a move to Al-Nassr this summer
‘It wasn’t his fault alone that things weren’t going well for us. The big picture was not good for us.
You are a new player abroad – with a new language, new culture and new people. When you join as a top star and have to listen to a lot of criticism – some rightly, some wrongly – I can imagine it’s not easy.’
Mane moved to the German giants last summer in a £35m deal from Liverpool, where he’d enjoyed great success as part of the Reds formidable front three alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
He enjoyed a fast start to life in the Bundesliga, netting five times in his first six appearances, including a goal in their DFL-Supercup victory over RB Leipzig in July.
Yet, after an injury he sustained in November saw him miss the World Cup in Qatar, Mane’s season derailed and hit an all-time low when he was suspended for punching teammate Leroy Sane after Munich’s Champions League exit.
Kimmich believes the blame wasn’t all on Mane and has sympathy for the Senegalese forward
Mane’s season hit it’s lowest point when he was suspended for punching Leroy Sane
The forward finished the season netting just 12 times for the club in 38 appearances, although he did add a Bundesliga title to his impressive trophy haul.
A move to Al-Nassr, who finished second in the Saudi Pro League last season, would see Mane link up with Ronaldo and new signing Alex Telles as he becomes the latest big European name to move to the middle east.
Mane’s departure would only add to Bayern’s need to strengthen their attacking options, with the club hopeful a deal can still be done with Tottenham over the signing of Harry Kane.