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Klopp Praises In-Form Sadio Mané Ahead of Important Chelsea Clash

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He said he knew the forward would be good "from the first moment."

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It's not fair to judge transfers less than a year after they take place. Too many times a move that appears either magnificent or catastrophic becomes the opposite over a longer time frame. But in the case of Sadio Mané, it's difficult to draw a conclusion other than "he's going to be great at Liverpool for a long time."

At the very least it is indisputable that in this moment -- as the Reds prepare to take on Chelsea -- he is one of the biggest game-changers in the squad. Even manager Jürgen Klopp, who usually avoids heaping hyperbole on his own players, was quick to highlight the wide forward in his pre-match press conference.

"Sadio gives width and space," Klopp said (via the Guardian). "We don't have slow players but he is a specific kind, a good footballer and that makes it an enjoyable package."

In particular, the manager hailed Mané's quick start at the club, which he attributed to a full pre-season spent training.

"From the first moment it was pretty much clear that he would be good for us," Klopp said. "I was really happy when we signed him and I heard the deal was done."

"The best thing was he could make the pre-season with us," he added. "He had brilliant moments in one of the other easier games, had weaker moments in another, he went through the normal cycle you go through for a pre-season. At the end he made all the sessions and that was the best base for fitting in as quick as possible."