Sadio Mane is set to miss the first day of the new Premier League season due to his AFCON 2019 involvement, as per the Daily Post.
The Senegal attacker will feature in the final of the tournament after his side beat Tunisia in the semi-final on Sunday and will face Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria outfit.
While everyone connected with Liverpool is excited about the prospect of one of their own winning another trophy this season, Mane will likely miss Norwich City’s visit to Anfield on the 8th of August.
The Daily Post reports that the key Liverpool player will take extended leave this summer as he will need to take a break after a long, exhaustive season before returning to Melwood for testing and a mini pre-season of his own.
The 27-year-old was a key figure for Liverpool as they romped their way to a Champions League title win after coming agonisingly close to beating Pep Guardiola’s side to the Premier League trophy.
If Jurgen Klopp’s side is to come anywhere near repeating what was achieved during the 2018/19 season, he will need Mane to come through his summer unscathed.
Of course, his absence from Premier League opening day does make way for the likes of Harry Wilson to prove to Klopp during pre-season that he has what it takes to be a valuable squad member ahead of the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri or Divock Origi.
Norwich will certainly be up for the task of handing the European Champions their first defeat of the season but Wilson will be familiar with the Canaries after coming up against them in the Championship last season during his loan spell with Derby County.
He scored 21 goals last season and proved to be a dangerous threat from set-pieces and if Jurgen Klopp does hand him his Premier League debut, there is no doubt that it would set the stage for a dramatic story.