Liverpool's new £34m signing Sadio Mane was a missed opportunity for Arsenal

Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the second goal for Southampton

Arsenal should have considered Sadio Mane.

Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring the second goal for SouthamptonSadio Mane celebrates after scoring the second goal for Southampton

Liverpool completed the biggest deal of the summer so far when they splashed out £34 million on signing Sadio Mane.

While it is easy to dismiss Mane as over-priced, he is a rarity in the Premier League due to his ability to score goals from midfield.

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez scores their second goal with a freekickArsenal's Alexis Sanchez scores their second goal with a freekick

Over the last two years combined only Alexis Sanchez has scored more goals from a position not considered an out and out striker.

Sanchez will go up against Mane on the first day of the season, pending recovery from his Copa America heroics, when Arsenal take on Liverpool.

Mane will be hoping to make an immediate impact for his new team, and there is a case to be made that Arsenal missed out on a big opportunity in signing him.

The Gunners have been criticised under Arsene Wenger for taking the 'long route' to goal, while Mane would have helped solve this shortcoming by way of his direct approach.

The powerful winger has an eye for goal, and netted 11 times in the league last season, more than Arsenal's midfielders.

  TeamGoalsAppearances
Sadio Mané Southampton 11 37
Mesut Özil Arsenal 6 35
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal 5 31
Theo Walcott Arsenal 5 28
Joel Campbell Arsenal 3 19

Alexis Sanchez topped Mane with 13, but the newly signed Liverpool star scored more than Theo Walcott, Joel Campbell and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (who netted only one) did combined.

Mane on one wing and Sanchez on the other would have been a devastating pair, and the Senegal ace could have flourished with Mesut Ozil playing alongside him.

Arsenal need a player like Walcott or Alex Iwobi to step up this season and seize the initiative, and be their Mane, but perhaps it would have just been simpler to sign him instead.

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