How important is Sadio Mane to Liverpool?

How important is Sadio Mane to Liverpool?

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How important is Sadio Mane to Liverpool?








By
Tom Dunstan



Last Updated: September 13, 2018 4:25 pm


Four wins in their opening four games, the confidence around Anfield appears to be at an all-time high.

One of just three teams to pick up maximum points, are the Reds Man City’s leading contenders?

While Virgil van Dijk has made a seismic impact on Liverpool’s defence, it’s another former Southampton man who is stealing the headlines.

With four goals already in the league and a new contract on the table, just how important is Sadio Mane to Liverpool?

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 01: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal with Sadio Mane during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool FC at The King Power Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Sadio Mane at Liverpool

Hitting the ground following his £34million move from the Saints, Mane’s first season on Merseyside was an unqualified success.



Scoring 13 goals in the 2016/2017 season, the man from Senegal quickly became a fan favorite for the Kop end.

More impressive, in his debut year in red, Mane also picked up Liverpool’s Player of the Season award.

Starting to gain a long list of admirers, Mane’s performances earnt him a spot in the PFA Team of the Year.

His clinical goalscoring form has been epitomized by the fact he has now scored against 14 of the 20 Premier League sides.

Last season, the speedsters upward trajectory only continued.



Mane netted 20 goals in all competitions last year, including 10 in England’s top flight.

Although he picked up a knee injury over Christmas, he also picked up seven assists.

Forming a devastating partnership with Roberto Firminho and Moh Salah, the trio bagged 91 goals altogether.

The pacey winger also enjoyed a string of eye-catching performances on the European stage.

Scoring 10 goals in the Champions League, including a hat-trick against Porto in the last 16.

Mane also scored Liverpool’s consolation goal in their 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the final.

Although they could only secure a Silver medal finish, his stats bested the likes of Harry Kane and Neymar.

That £34million price tag must seem like a steal now.

A stellar start to the season

Although his contribution last season may have been overshadowed by Salah’s 44-goal debut, Mane has started the year in emphatic fashion.

In Liverpool’s opening four games, the winger already has as many goals to his name.

He also shares top spot in the Premier League goalscoring charts with Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Could Mane be on route to dethroning Salah as the ‘King of Anfield’?

Living up to the expectations that come with Liverpool’s #10 shirt, Mane was voted PFA Player of the Month for August.

It isn’t just his creativity in the final third that is impressing his German boss.

No attacker in Red has made more tackles than the former Saints man entering September.

In fact, after his eye-catching start to the new campaign, Klopp believes Mane is on the verge of joining Europe’s elite.

Now he’s much more secure that this is his level,” said Klopp. “The players surprise themselves sometimes. ‘Wow, really? That’s how good I am?’ We all need to show our best and get used to it.

It’s quality. We have to make sure we can show that every week. Who scores the goals is not too important, but it was very important for us and very nice for him that he could do it in the last game.

Sadio is a very consistent player for us. His work-rate is great,” Klopp added.

We have a very strange 4-5-1 formation with Sadio as a midfielder, Bobby [Roberto Firmino] being a midfielder more or less and Mo [Salah] being a striker, even though he plays in a little different position.

We talk about the defensive work-rate they put in, that’s really important.

With Klopp demanding intensity across the pitch, Mane’s defensive work rate in front of Andrew Robertson is a key part of their success.

Now tipped to be Manchester City’s leading contenders, Mane has epitomized Liverpool’s revolution.

Ahead of their first real test against Tottenham on Saturday, there is no doubt who he is the in-form man for Liverpool.

Mane’s contract extension?

With Klopp looking to build a legacy on Merseyside, Liverpool need to lock down their biggest stars.

In recent memory, fan favourites Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez have made the switch to the Nou Camp.

The Reds need to build on the momentum of last season and not become a feeder club for some of Europe’s most prestigious names.

Becoming an increasingly vital part of Klopp’s plans, both parties are in the midst of contract negotiations.

Since July, Mane and Liverpool have been in discussions over a new five-year deal at Anfield.

While progress has been slow, it has been reported that there has been a positive dialogue between the two parties.

The wingers current contract currently runs until 2021.

If Mane can agree on an extension at Anfield, he would follow in the footsteps of Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firminho and Moh Salah.

A player who is starting to hit his prime at just 26, Klopp knows just how important Mane is to his title ambitions.

Like Salah did, could this be the season another Liverpool winger assumes world-class status?

Related:

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold calls Sergio Ramos the best centre-back in the world

Martin Keown backs Liverpool to win the Premier League this season










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September 13, 2018 at 08:26AM

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