Sadio Mane is in great form but Jurgen Klopp can still get more out of Liverpool’s Senegal international by making a tweak to his positioning.
When Mohamed Salah joined the club, Klopp took his goal-scoring ability to the next level by deploying him closer to goal than he had ever been in his career.
Some rival fans like to use Salah’s positioning as a stick to beat him with as they argue he is an ‘inside forward’ and not a winger. But it really doesn’t matter so long as Liverpool get the best possible version of the Egyptian forward possible.
Subtle Sadio switch could yield sensational numbers
Could Klopp do something similar with Mane to maximise his ability to score goals and reduce the reliance on Salah? I think so.
Last season, Mane struggled with the effects of COVID-19. The injuries that plagued the side negatively impacted his role in the team as he finished the campaign with 16 goals and 9 assists.
Not terrible but I firmly believe he is capable of doubling those numbers if played higher up the pitch and asked to do less defensive work. In games like Liverpool versus Brighton it would mean that, if Salah was unable to score, he could be the star of the show.
Mane did score against the Seagulls but both he and Salah were kept very quiet in the second half.
He has got 7 goals so far this season which is a very good return but I’d love to see him go up another gear, which I think would be possible if he was played in a similar role to Salah.
As we saw against Manchester City, when Salah dropped deep before driving on and assisting Mane, the former Southampton star makes very intelligent runs behind the opposition and has a great finish when he takes his chances early.
This proposed switch would work best with Roberto Firmino in the side, as the Brazilian’s ability to play the false nine role to perfection would be hugely important to take the defensive responsibilities away from both Salah and Mane.
It is not a switch that Klopp needs to make in every game, but it would be a great option when things aren’t quite working out for Salah as the former AS Roma star obviously can’t score in every game.