'Was good for Liverpool': PL striker believes Sadio Mané was making his teammate a 'better player'
Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

'Was good for Liverpool': PL striker believes Sadio Mané was making his teammate a 'better player'

West Ham United striker Michail Antonio says Sadio Mané was making his Liverpool teammate a ‘better player’. The Reds have now lost that.

Sadio Mané left Liverpool this summer and with that, the Reds lost one of their absolute best players. Mané had a fantastic season last term – arguably his best for the club – and was absolutely vital in their push for silverware.

His departure hurts, then. Liverpool will need to hope that the likes of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota can have a similar impact going forward – but that won’t be easy to do.

Fortunately, they still have Mohamed Salah. Salah signed a new contract this summer, of course, tying himself to Liverpool for the remainder of his prime years. But will he be the same player with Mané?

West Ham United striker Michail Antonio isn’t so sure and explained why on his podcast this week.

“I don’t feel like they needed to sell him,” said Antonio. “I feel like that rivalry, that push that Mané’s giving Salah, that Salah’s giving Mané, I feel that was good for Liverpool. The fact that they have that rivalry on the pitch, that they demanded it from each other.

“Because that’s what all professionals do – we demand the best from each other. And on the pitch, if I’ve got the opportunity to square it to someone for them to have a better opportunity than me, and I don’t, that player needs to tell me and that player will tell me.

“So I feel that rivalry was good for Liverpool. And it pushed Salah, it pushed Mané to be better players.”

Sadio Mané improved his Liverpool teammate

There is a lot of logic to this one, certainly. Mané and Salah have been the primary goalscorers at Liverpool since 2017 and undoubtedly pushed one another to new heights.

Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

We’re just not sure that Salah will suddenly lose those heights now that his teammate is gone. He’s an incredible player, after all, and we saw him looking electric against Manchester City at the weekend.

But above all, there are other goalscorers ready to take over from Mané and continue to push the levels at Liverpool. Nunez hasn’t turned up to play a bit-part, for one things – he’ll want to score goals. He may even have eyes on the Golden Boot.

So we’re not worried. If we didn’t see an immediate Mané replacement, we would be and maybe the standards could slip. But Liverpool have this one covered.

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