Sadio Mane is not at his best level yet according to Liverpool’s manager, despite the fact the Senegalese flyer scored a genuine contender for goal of the month on his Reds debut.
The 24-year-old picked the ball up on the right wing with seemingly nothing on, but beat two defenders with pace and trickery and then finished into the top corner of Petr Cech’s net with his weaker left foot.
Apart from his goal, the former Southampton man showed direct running, excellent work rate and an eagerness to get on the ball throughout the 90 minutes. He contributed defensively and offensively, but his manager Jurgen Klopp thinks there’s plenty more to come.
“Good – but he can do better. The way we defended they were all involved, Sadio too. We need to defend better and he’s involved,” Klopp said after the game, reported in the Echo.
“But of course we saw in pre-season, we saw today that in specific moments he’s unbelievably strong because he’s technically good and quick, it’s a nice combination so that’s what we saw around the whole game and the goal.”
The only player who perhaps impressed more than the new signing was our Brazilian magician Coutinho, who had plenty of praise for his new team-mate.
“Sadio is a top player,” Coutinho told ESPN. “It was a great goal and I am very happy to have him in our team. He has fitted in really well here.
“It’s not only him, we have a lot of quality players here and some who weren’t here today. The squad is strong.”
With Roberto Firmino making up the attacking triumvirate, and Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum breaking from deep, Liverpool have unbelievable attacking options – and that’s before mentioning Daniel Sturridge or Divock Origi – neither of whom started.
When Sturridge returns to fitness, it’ll be mighty interesting to see if the manager accommodates him back into the side or sticks with the fluid 4-3-3 he used throughout pre-season and yesterday.