When Liverpool paid £34M to sign Sadio Mané away from Southampton over the summer, a few raised their eyebrow at the fee. Mané had been a quality player for the Saints, but the fee seemed steep. It doesn’t seem that way any more.
Mané has looked every bit a marquee signing since moving to Anfield, and it has Thierry Henry impressed by the versatile attacker, with the ex-Arsenal man pointing to him as the key to tonight’s Liverpool-Manchester United match.
“No disrespect to Southampton, but you can clearly see he does things at another level now that he’s got better players around him,” said the Arsenal legend and Sky pundit. “I wouldn’t like to play against him. He’s always coming back.”
That tenacity, that refusal to give up when he drives forward , has already led to a few stellar, highlight moments with Liverpool. It has also led to three goals and three assists in seven total appearances, a goal or assist every 104 minutes.
His Southampton return was in itself impressive, a goal or assist roughly every 140 minutes following his arrival there in 2014. What he’s doing at Liverpool so far, though, is closer to his dominance in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg.
“It’s something that’s been gone in the game, but he wants the ball at his feet,” Henry added. “But he also wants to run in behind, every single time, and that creates fear.”