There were a lot of jibes taken at Liverpool when they signed another Southampton player this season. Sadio Mane joined the Reds for a mouth-watering sum of £34 million, which made him the most expensive African footballer in the world.
Many had even stated that buying Mane was one of the biggest mistakes Jurgen Klopp had made in his short but eventful Liverpool career, but the Senegalese footballer has blown almost everyone away with his performances for the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp has deployed a 4-3-3 formation and the need for quick wingers was a requirement for the side to function well. Mane not only provides Liverpool with pace but his trickery and eye for goal have been incredible, considering he had just joined the club.
The 24-year-old seems like he has been playing for Liverpool for years and has created a great understanding with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and even Philippe Coutinho.
Mane scored a wonderful goal against Arsenal on the opening day and followed that up with a fantastic team goal against Leicester City as well. It wasn’t just the goals but the way Mane has worked within the team that has made him one of the best players in the Premier League, let alone the best in the Liverpool side.
The former Southampton man has also been one player that has taken the Gegenpressing style of football to heart. The 24-year-old can always be seen harrying the opposition and making life tough for the others. His runs are also excellently timed, making him a great outlet for the other players to set up.
His never give up attitude was on display during the goal against Leicester. While it was Daniel Sturridge who made the run for the ball, Sadio Mane was also running alongside in hopes of getting a touch or a pass. Sturridge did oblige with a glorious back-heel but Mane had to be present to be in that position as he scored against Kasper Schmeichel.
Liverpool did not have a proper winger for a number of years, someone who can hug the touchline and whip a ball in. Mane, though, is a great mixture of an old fashioned winger and someone who likes to run straight at defenders, Liverpool badly needed someone like that.
The Reds might not be set for a Premier League title now but with Mane shining and getting better with each game, Liverpool could easily make it back to the Champions League.