In football, a space must be filled. The world’s most popular sport must have its heroes, villains, tricksters, leaders, usurpers, underdogs, bullies, and revolutionaries. For a club like Liverpool FC, without a league title since 1990, there must be a talisman—someone who we can turn to in times of need and marvel as he shines yet again. In the absence of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané may have emerged as that man.
Winning the Premier League Player of the Month award for August after scoring in each league game is a fine way for Mané to submit his application. Already adored on the Kop and feared by opposition defenders, shifting to the left has proven to be no problem for the Senegalese international. In fact, he may be a deadlier proposition cutting in on his right foot.
Mané shares top spot at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts with Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku. However, Mané has averaged 3.3 shots per game compared with Lukaku’s 4.7 across August’s three league fixtures. This award, moreover, represents a milestone for the 25-year-old who has never won a Premier League Player of the Month award before.
As part of a devastating front three alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, Mané will be hoping to terrorise countless opposition defenders in his second season at Liverpool. Next up, Manchester City at the Etihad.