After a short summer break, football is back. And after a year that saw games played mostly without fans or, on occasion, with limited crowds, for 2021-22 the fans are back, too. For Liverpool’s Sadio Mané, it’s a very big deal—and still worth talking about a month into the season.
“Having our fans back in the stadium is an extra motivation,” Mané noted. “I have always said the Liverpool fans are the best fans in the world. It was fantastic to play in front of a full Anfield again. Having them back can be massive for us and they can play a huge part in our success.”
Of all the Premier League sides, Liverpool have a case for being the one that looked to suffer most having lost the extra energy that comes from playing in front of a crowd. But of course the fans weren’t the only thing that was missing for the Reds in an at times very difficult season.
They were also without many of their top players last season, and at times it felt as though half the team was missing due to a string of serious injuries that hit the defence hardest, taking Virgil van Dijk, Joël Matip, and Joe Gomez all out of the lineup for the entire second half of the season.
“Obviously it was a big blow for us missing not only Virgil but also Joël and Joe Gomez last year,” the Senegalese forward added. “If you have these kind of players in your team and you’re missing them, then for sure you will feel it. I think any club in this world would feel the same.
“Now we are really happy to have them back and it’s been a good start to the season with these names on the backs of the shirts behind me.”