On The Ball

Players like Sadio Mane have reinvented the role of the traditional winger

Liverpool's Sadio Mane in action during the English Premier League soccer match.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The most prolific scorer on show at Stamford Bridge today will be found in the dugout. Frank Lampard finished his playing days with 303 goals. The Chelsea manager was the midfielder who outscored the strikers.

A different sort of revolutionary will be on the pitch. Sadio Mane may owe his status as the finisher at the vanguard of change to Jurgen Klopp's tactics, but he reflects a radical shift in thinking. Suddenly, the Mane type is everywhere. The traditional left-winger is left looking like a dinosaur, a species endangered by the changing times.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 20, 2020, with the headline 'Mane & Co no longer left on the wings'. Print Edition | Subscribe