If indeed there is a need for an indicator as to how high Liverpool regard their forward Sadio Mane, it is this! The Reds are desperate to keep their star striker fully fit, and have sent a club physio with Mane to Senegal.
According to reports in The Telegraph, the club physio Scott McAuley has been sent with Mane and will work closely with the forward alongside the Senegal medical team to ensure that he maintains full fitness upon return.
Senegal are in the midst of a tricky play-off with South Africa to qualify for next year’s World Cup. Considering the importance of this two-legged play-off, Senegal may be tempted to play even a half-fit Mane.
The last time Mane went on national duty, he returned with a hamstring injury that hampered Liverpool’s run in the Premier League. No wonder then that the club wants to leave nothing for a chance this time as they prepare for another national duty of their star forward.
After missing out on action due to that hamstring injury, Mane returned to action against West Ham United only last weekend. He put in a brilliant performance, showing no signs of rust, and provided two brilliant assists for Mohamed Salah to lead his side to a comfortable win.
Klopp knows very well that his side’s chances of succeeding this term depend on keeping his dynamic duo fully fit and in form for the remainder of the season. As his defensive problems show no sign of abating, his strike force needs to be in full flow, for which Mane needs to be in full fitness.
It is a tribute to his remarkable fitness levels that Mane got into the groove right after the injury break. Klopp knows that his pressing style has the potential of draining every inch out of his players.
With the club still going strong on the European front and looking good for knockouts, Klopp would need his best players to be available regularly. Mane may have returned ahead of schedule from his hamstring injury but the Reds do not want to take any chances during his stay with the national team.
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