Talking Tactics: Mane ready to spearhead new-look Bayern's title tilt
Bayern Munich kick off a Bundesliga campaign without Robert Lewandowski in attack for the first time since 2013 tonight.
Die Roten parted ways with their legendary forward this summer after a goal-laden eight seasons together.
The 33-year-old scored an extraordinary 238 times in 253 league outings, claiming seven top scorer awards in the process.
Ahead of the Bavarian giants' clash with Eintracht Frankfurt tonight, we take a look at how Julian Nagelsmann can fill the void left by the prolific Poland international.
The Mane man
Sadio Mane swapped Merseyside for Munich this summer, joining Germany's most successful club in a deal believed to be worth £35million.
The 30-year-old scored in last Saturday's DFL-Supercup victory over RB Leipzig, having started the match as a centre forward.
It was a role that he made his own for Liverpool in the latter half of the 2021-22 campaign.
His positional switch coincided with an upturn in form — and there is a case to be made that the Senegalese speedster was Jurgen Klopp's most important player at the business end of the season.
If last weekend's team is a sign of things to come, Mane is going to be leading the line and getting among the goals.
Finding someone to directly replace Lewandowski was always going to be an impossible task.
But Mane was part of an attacking unit at Liverpool that was not hugely reliant on one player.
The Africa Cup of Nations winner will be invaluable to Bayern as they look to replace their former No9 and in the aftermath of their win over Leipzig, Nagelsmann praised his new forward.
He said: "It was a very good performance from [Mane]. He is a humble and grounded player. He is extremely good for us — in the dressing room too. He has outstanding qualities and is an outstanding guy.
"[Jamal] Musiala played an outstanding game, very diligently. He has increased defensively. That was world-class today. [Leroy] Sane's a great person and an outstanding footballer, he scored a great goal."
The future is now
Mane is not the only attacker signed by Bayern this summer.
Mathys Tel has arrived from Rennes, with the German champions paying £25m to sign the 17-year-old.
He made his debut in Ligue 1 last term but failed to find the net in seven league appearances before switching clubs.
However, Nagelsmann has a track record of giving youth an opportunity, so expect to see the young forward get some minutes for the first team this season.
The Frenchman will have the opportunity to learn from the likes of Mane, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, in order to really refine his game.
Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: "Mathys Tel is one of the biggest talents in Europe, a very quick, technically strong and versatile striker. He won the European Championship with the France Under-17s this year as captain of the team.
"We've been watching him for a long time and we were able to convince him to take his next important steps in Munich with us now."
With Lewandowski in the side, there must always have been a feeling of security among Bayern's players.
If things were not going well, he would typically pop up with a vital goal.
But with Barcelona's new frontman no longer calling the Allianz Arena home, there is an opportunity for others to claim extra responsibility and really cement themselves as key men for Nagelsmann.
Gnabry is one of these players, having recently penned a four-year contract extension with the club.
He scored a career-high 14 Bundesliga goals last term — and will want to improve on that this time around as FCB target an 11th consecutive title.