The bad news is that Liverpool will face Manchester United on Saturday without attacking star Sadio Mané. They will then face Tottenham and Sevilla and Southampton and Chelsea without him after it was confirmed that he would miss at least six weeks with a hamstring injury. There is no good news.
All told, the Senegal international is expected to miss at least nine matches in the league and Europe after being taken off late in the second half during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Cape Verde. At the time, there were hopes that his removal was precautionary. It’s safe to say now that it was not precautionary.
The news comes less than 24 hours after it was announced that Mané had been named to the Ballon d’Or shortlist as one of the top 30 players plying his trade in Europe and is a major blow to Liverpool’s hopes as they look to recover from a month of underwhelming results in the league and Europe.
The only potential positive is that by signing Mohamed Salah over the summer, Liverpool will have at least one speedy senior winger still in action, and with the return of Adam Lallana expected shortly the expectation will be for Philippe Coutinho to push back up to the left wing where he played last season.
It could also mean that Ben Woodburn will see some first team action in the league and Europe, at least off the bench, over the next month, with the young Welsh international so far having not seen the kind of playing time many expected he would get following an impressive pre-season.