Liverpool have the most frightening front three in the world at the minute. With The Reds having only dropped two points in the Premier League, defences everywhere are terrified of facing Jürgen Klopp’s unstoppable juggernaut. An ex-teammate of Sadio Mane has recalled his first impressions of the Senegalese winger.
Mane has become one of the greatest forwards in the world since arriving at Anfield.
The African Player of the Year has been improving every week, he won a share of the Premier League Golden Boot last season and has already notched 11 in the league this campaign.
One area that the winger has most evidently progressed is his link up play, Mane registered just one league assist last season but he already has six this time out.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, Gaetan Bussman – teammate of Mane’s at Metz during the 2011/12 season – has recalled his first impressions of the forward. He told the magazine:
“Olivier Perrin had told us that a phenomenon was coming to Metz, but we had no idea he was that good.
“He plays the same now as when he arrived in France. The biggest difference, though, is how explosive he is on the pitch, especially in one-on-one situations.”
Bussman went on to detail a foggy winter match wherein when Mane came on the team said ‘Give the ball to Sadio’ in the hope that he’d find the decisive goal; whilst he didn’t net on that occasion, Sadio ’caused mayhem’.
What RTK has to say
This is an interesting account from Bussman.
His testimony of Mane’s early career serves to highlight the importance of good coaching.
It appears that the forward always had the raw talent, as Bussman recalls that Sadio largely ‘plays the same now’.
However, it’s not until later on in his career, under the tutelage of Jürgen Klopp, that Mane has honed the most decisive parts of his game, namely his explosivity in one-on-one situations.
There are plenty of players out there with all the potential in the world that just never find the right coach or team that properly makes the most of their abilities – Adel Taarabt and Hatem Ben Arfa are two such naturally gifted players that promised so much more.
Thankfully for us Kopites, Sadio has found the right coach for him and he is now on top of the world with The Reds. Long may he reign.