After putting in a string of Man of the Match performances to kick off his Liverpool career, on Saturday City Sadio Mané gave teammates Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana a turn taking top billing as the Reds demolished Leicester City. For any other player it would have been an outstanding display. For Mané, after how he’s started out at his new club, it was simply a very good one.
So high has the bar been set in his first month in red that already his £34M transfer fee seems a bargain and there’s talk that he could be the club’s most important player this season. Certainly he was in September, when he was clear choice as Liverpool’s player of the month. Still, he wants to do more; he wants to be even better. It’s a thought that should scare defenders.
“I need to give my best for the team and the most important thing is trying to keep going,” Mané told the club’s official website today. “I will be happy if defenders are afraid of me because it will make it easier for me. When you are new it can sometimes be difficult to adapt into the team. But here it has been easy with great players like Daniel, Philippe, and Roberto.”
On Saturday, with Philippe Coutinho having just returned from a long trip to Brazil during the international break, it was Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino that Mané partnered with in attack. On Friday when Liverpool take on Chelsea, nobody’s quite sure what the attacking permutation will look like. Except perhaps that Mané will be a part of it.
“Yes, I am in a good way, but I have to work,” added the Senegal international, who already has two goals and three assists for his new side in just four appearances—good for a goal or assist roughly every 72 minutes he’s been on the pitch. “That work started on the day I signed and now I have to keep going in training and show it every game.”