Sadio Mane: Man on Form
In a season where Liverpool fans were expecting their Egyptian King to prove to be their main man once again, it is, in fact, their other striker who has been leading the line exceptionally well.
Sadio Mane has scored 12 times since the turn of the year, including three braces, one of which came against Bayern Munich in the Champions League – and who can forget his clever backheel against Watford in the Premier League? He has simply been sublime and deserves all the plaudits that come his way.
To put his performances into perspective a little more, we have a couple of facts for you that you may not know about.
Liverpool have generally struggled away from home in the Champions League this season, but after Mane’s double in the Allianz Arena, the 27-year-old has scored the most amount of Champions League goals away from home for Liverpool.
And if you exclude penalties, no player has scored more Premier League goals than Sadio Mane at present, which is why he is one of the main reasons as to why Liverpool are challenging in the league as well as Europe.
Jamie Carragher has been particularly vocal about Mane’s performances, especially after Liverpool’s hard-fought win over recently relegated Fulham.
The pundit and former Liverpool player said: “This is not just the form man in the Premier League; this is the form man in Europe. He has nine Premier League goals in 2019, which is a tally that only Sergio Aguero can match.”
And this has not come through luck. He has been able to find himself in more goalscoring opportunities this season and his side have reaped the rewards because of it.
Jurgen Klopp recently said it is his belief and confidence within himself which is why he has come on leaps and bound this season.
He said: “Sadio is coming to an age where things are becoming more natural for him. He is not in the part where he has to convince everybody every day of his career, that he has a good one. We all know how is a world-class player and now he is starting to realise that himself.”
Football betting currently has Liverpool as second-favourites to win the Premier League at 6/4, while Man City are 8/15, so the bookies clearly still fancy the Sky Blues to come out on top come the end of the season. However, in between now and May, Mane will be looking to prove them wrong.
Away from the pitch, is it well worth noting just how humble Mane is. He was pictured cleaning out the toilets in a local mosque earlier in the season, showing respect to his faith and to those who visit and use the mosque and its facilities.
This is another reason as to why the Senegalese striker is mightily popular with Liverpool fans and is very well respected by his teammates. There has never been any negative press towards Mane, who is clearly a model professional to all.
One thing that is for sure is that if Liverpool go on to win the Premier League, Mane’s performances and goals will be one of the leading factors for their success and Klopp will be hoping he can continue to impress in the final stages of the season.