Sadio Mane’s start to life with Liverpool has begun in outstanding fashion. Is he now Jurgen Klopp’s most potent weapon?
- Position: Midfielder
- Fantasy Price: £12.4m (PlayON), £8.9m (FPL)
- Starts: 3
- Goals: 2
- Assists: 1
The latest in a long line of players to make the move from Southampton to Liverpool, Sadio Mane was the Reds’ most expensive signing of the summer, arriving at Anfield with a considerable £34m price-tag.
If some initially balked at the transfer fee, the chances are that those critics has been quickly silenced by the sheer brilliance of the Senegalese international so far.
Just three league appearances into the season, Mane already appears to be worth every bit of that investment.
His quick integration into the team perhaps shouldn’t be so surprising. In many ways he’s the archetypal Jurgen Klopp player. Quick, tactically astute and devastating on the counter-attack, Mane’s place in this Liverpool side already looks nailed on.
We knew of his qualities and how they fit our style, which is why we brought him here – Jurgen Klopp on Sadio Mane, The Independent.
It’s not just the Liverpool staff that are pleased with his performances. The 24 year old has started garnering plenty of attention in the fantasy football world. 13.2% of Fantasy Premier League managers and 16.3% of PlayON managers have opted for Mane, although those figures could be expected to drop slightly given Liverpool’s next opponents are an unbeaten Chelsea side they’ve defeated just once in their last six meetings.
Danny Rose testified to Mane’s abilities in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in Gameweek 3 when he described the winger’s pace as ‘frightening’. The ex-Saints man apparently gave the England left-back his ‘hardest game in years’ due to his willingness to go at his marker relentlessly. No player took on the their opponent with more success – five times – than Mane in Gameweek 4 as he lead Liverpool to a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Leicester.
Placed on the right of a three man attack, with Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino deployed through the centre and left side respectively, Liverpool put together their most impressive display of the season so far and Mane was central to everything positive for the Reds. He put Liverpool 2-0 into the lead and was still full of running in the 89th minute, as he pounced on a Kasper Schmeichel error to tee up Firmino for the final goal of the game.
Very few players have won over the Anfield faithful so quickly, but Sadio Mane is already being discussed as a man with the potential to fill the void left by Luis Suarez two seasons ago. While filling the Uruguayan’s shoes sounds like wishful thinking at this point, Mane could be in for a landmark season in the Premier League.