James Winstone discusses Sadio Mané’s importance to Liverpool’s season.

The deadly trio of Firmino, Mané and Coutinho have recently been reunited after a previous poor spell of games in the Premier League and cups which saw us get knocked out of both cups and fall from title contenders to fourth in the league. Whilst the Senegalese man Sadio Mané spent the period in Africa playing at AFCON, Liverpool saw their pace and scoring ability diminish as we slumped to many embarrassing losses to the hands of the likes of Swansea and Wolverhampton.

In this article, we explore what has happened to the team whilst he’s been missing, what his league statistics look like and how well we can do with him back from AFCON like our most recent fixture.

Overview

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For many years now, we have lacked pace and skill down the flanks in our starting XI but our prayers were answered when Jürgen Klopp landed the ex-Southampton man Sadio Manê for a fee of around £30 million.

At first, his price was questioned as Liverpool are known to buy average players from Southampton regularly each window. However, Mané soon proved the doubters wrong as his first match turned out to be the debut of dreams in which he curled and absolute worldie into the top corner after a skilful run and cut onto his left from the counter attack followed by a joyous celebration with the manager. This type of performance has been a regular occurrence for the Senegalese man this season and even when he has an average performance, he still manages to show a bit of magic as seen against Everton when he won the game with a goal in the last few minutes.

The stats

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Sadio Mané has done extremely well during his first season in Red at Anfield. Here are the statistics of his season:

Matches: 21(1)
Goals: 11
Assists: 4

Mané is now our top scorer with the 11 goals he has slotted home for us which proves he’s clearly a huge purchase from the summer.

His display against Spurs

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After a horrendous run of form, Klopp’s Red army marched onto the pitch of Anfield once again against a more difficult opponent in Tottenham Hotspur. Fans were fairly optimistic when the starting lineup showed the original team which earned itself the title as being one of the best attacking sides in Europe shortly before Sadio departed for AFCON.

The atmosphere was electric as the crowd tried with all their might to support the Reds and bring a win in the Premier League at home for the first time this year. Fans were not left disappointed with the Senegalese winger Mané scoring two wonderful goals in under two minutes early in the first half. Once the final whistle went and we’d risen up to the occasion to win 2-0 at home, a massive weight was lifted from Klopp’s shoulders and more importantly the players. Sadio Mané put in a Man Of The Match performance whilst an honourable mention goes towards Gini Wijnaldum who had one of the best performances in a red shirt all season. This match showed how important Sadio Mané is and how we really can still challenge to remain in the top four and maybe even the title if Chelsea drop points.

Conclusion

To conclude, I believe that Sadio Mané is absolutely crucial to our squad as in previous seasons we have been missing the pace and end product he can provide. Judging by his stats, Mané has been our main source for goals as he has plenty of them for himself and a few assists. The front three of Mané, Firmino and Coutinho are back again and ready to tear the league up.