Sadio Mané is exceptional at football. The Senegalese forward has been on a rich vein of form, such that while accurately describing him as exceptional at his job, one might be tempted to place him as the most important figure in Liverpool’s attack.
That’s not a reach given his goal scoring record, which continued with a brace in Liverpool’s Super Cup victory over Chelsea yesterday. The praise and accolades and attention that he’s garnered on the back of this performance and a season’s worth of work that saw him level with Mohamed Salah as the club’s leading goal scorer are all well-earned.
This has led many to believe - as noted earlier - that Sadio Mane is the most important member in Liverpool’s attacking core. And on a night when he bagged both of Liverpool’s goals, it makes sense. To hear the man himself talk about it, though, he’d point to the unselfishness of the team and, in particular, of Roberto Firmino.
“I think all the credit should go to my teammates, especially Bobby – he could have scored but he preferred to give it to me. I think this is how we play at Liverpool. We play for each other and we always enjoy playing for each other and to give each other passes. I think that makes us strong.”
I don’t spot a lie in anything here. Sadio’s goals were certainly the product of the graft and work of Roberto Firmino, whose impact on the club despite all the praise still feels understated. Perhaps because so much of what the man does still fails to make the stat sheet. From pressing to spotting the right pass to finishing chances, Bobby is a unique fit for Klopp’s vision.
We’ve mentioned before that in the discussion of which member is most important to Liverpool’s attack, there is no clear choice. Sadio’s ability to provide creativity and precision is unmatched. Bobby is a Swiss-Army knife. And Mo is impossibly direct.
So, perhaps the real answer to what makes Liverpool’s attack is the final part of Mané’s quote: that all three attackers work in pitch perfect harmony towards a common goal.