Sadio Mane is undoubtedly Liverpool’s most clinical player of the season after scoring 18 goals in the Premier League this season.
Mane quite clearly has a different goalscoring philosophy to Mohamed Salah. The Senegalese winger hit 18 goals in the Premier League this season, one fewer than Salah, but in far fewer shots.
Salah leads Liverpool in shots and that will surprise absolutely no one. He’s not just first but first by a distance, attempting 132 shots over his 34-game campaign (per Whoscored). That’s 33 more than Roberto Firmino, who sits in second on 99.
Then comes Mane who had 77 efforts at goal over the Premier League season. That’s only just over two-per-game for his 35 matches – well below Salah.
Mane is only 20th in the Premier League for shots, in fact, yet managed 6th for goals. Salah had the most in the league, naturally, whilst coming 5th for goals.
And that goes to show the difference in philosophy when it comes to goalscoring. Salah is far more scattergun. He fires a lot of shots on goal, creates tons of chances for himself and finds the net a lot. He scores from a little over 14% of his shots – not a particularly high number.
Mane, on the other hand, clearly waits for decent opportunities and finds the net that way. 18 goals from 77 shots prove that – he scores from around 23% of his efforts.
One standout stat between Mane and Salah is where they have their shots from. Salah had nearly twice as many shots from both inside and outside the box as his teammate.
Remarkably, though, they both had nine from inside the six-yard box. We can put that into a percentage to see the difference between the two players.
Under 7% of Salah’s shots come from inside the six-yard box. For Mane, that number leaps to over 11% – over one in ten.
That suggests that Mane truly is about quality over quantity, compared to Salah’s shoot-from-anywhere approach.
It’s interesting to see, given Salah’s reputation for goalscoring since arriving at Liverpool. This stat certainly makes it seem like Mane is just as good as the Egyptian when it comes to finishing off those simple chances.
That’s what makes Mane so clinical. The £34m man gets in positions for easy goals, rather than just to shoot, and that’s what makes him the clinical gold-standard at Liverpool.