Alex Rogers explains why supporters should unite behind Sadio Mane’s Africa Cup of Nations ambitions.

With our Senegalese warrior, Sadio Mané, off to the African cup of Nations, it’s hard not to think that it could cause a knock on effect to Liverpool as he’s been such a key member of the team this season. But don’t worry guys, it’s not the end of the world.

I’m a very positive guy, and it pains me to see our own fans flip out and I see them infect others with negative views. “Our title dreams are over because we drew to Sunderland!” or “We need a new goalkeeper NOW! Bye, bye Mignolet and Karius!” and one that I’ve been seeing recently is “With Mané gone for a bit, how on EARTH are we going to win games!?!?”

Well maybe not quite to that extent, but it may as well be. Many people seem to think that without Mané we have no attacking options whatsoever. Yes, we may be losing some firepower, but with Sadio off on his African adventure, Coutinho will be returning to the fold very soon.

Also with rumours galore at the moment with players, particularly wingers, being linked with us with, maybe we’ll grab an absolute bargain. Who knows?

To be honest, I don’t see Mané going away for a while as a huge deal. Yes, there’s a part of me that really wants Sadio to stay and play for us, but the majority of me wants him to do well for himself and for his country.

If Senegal fail to get through the group stages, Sadio will be back as soon as the 28th of January, but if he reaches the final it will be the 5th of February. Now I’ve also seen a lot of people saying that hopefully Senegal crash out early and we get our darling Mané back early. Are you serious?!

I know it sucks that he will miss some games, one being against Man Utd, but right now I’m the biggest Senegal fan going! Come on you Senegal! I want Sadio to do the best he can do at the AFCON, and I feel every Liverpool fan should feel the same unless they have ties to any other African country.

But my loyalties do lie with Liverpool at heart, and I feel that supporting a club also means supporting the players and one of the greatest honours an African player can achieve is the African Cup of Nations! So as much as it maybe, maybe, could affect us with him off to the AFCON, I don’t think its fair saying you want his country to crash out as soon as possible.

So I say we rally behind The Lions of Teranga, the mighty Senegal, and smile with pride knowing one of our own is leading the charge for his country, as it is his mission, no, his destiny, to win his country this prestigious award!

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