With Sadio Mané’s Senegal going all the way to the Africa Cup of Nations final, the star winger has a very short summer break, coming back to Liverpool just before the start of the season and being thrown into the action straight away without a pre-season.
That short break meant Mané didn’t much need time to build up his fitness—but it also could be something to worry about as the season wears along, potentially increasing his risk of exhaustion and injury. Manager Jürgen Klopp says he’s well aware of that.
“Yes, we try,” was Klopp’s response when asked if he will look for ways to get rest for the player because of Mané’s short summer layoff. “I did today, took him off. And I think if I am 100% right then Sadio doesn’t have to go away on international duty after Burnley.
“That will help him, then after that we have a full week to prepare the next opponent with him at least. Others players come back later, Tuesday, Wednesday, but of course we have an eye on it, and we are responsible for making a decision how often they can go.”
Not having to take part in any games for two weeks following Saturday’s match against Burnley is definitely a positive, and while it’s perhaps expected, it’s still encouraging to hear from Klopp that there’s awareness of the need to be careful with Mané’s workload.
“You have to ask the players and that’s an important thing as well,” Klopp added. “As long I see in their eyes they really want it. It’s not about having only a two week break, it’s about having that intensity.”