Liverpool’s no.10 Coutinho has become the latest to wax lyrical about the increasingly hyped, increasingly exciting Sadio Mane.
Our Brazilian watched from the bench as Mane bagged his second Premier League goal of the season on Saturday, as Liverpool romped champions Leicester City 4-1 at Anfield.
Mane also picked up an assist for our fourth, showing his scintillating pace to beat Kasper Schmeichel to the ball before squaring to the equally excellent Roberto Firmino.
Firmino is getting better and better for Liverpool, but Mane’s impact is more obvious to the untrained eye due to his dynamism and direct style, and Coutinho appreciates his introduction to the side.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Coutinho began.
“He’s very quick, he’s got very good feet, so that helps us to create a lot of chances to score.
“But it’s not just him but as we saw in the game with Daniel (Sturridge), (Roberto) Firmino and (Adam) Lallana up there too.
“Everyone played very well, we did what the manager asked us to do. Everyone was very committed from the outset and we got a great result against a great team.
“Attacking we were virtually perfect so it was a great game that gives us confidence.
“We’re on the right track, we’ve started the season well. Of course we’ve dropped points, but the competition is very long. We’ve beaten teams that, theoretically, will be up there fighting for the title so that boosts our confidence.”
Coutinho is right to laud Liverpool’s attacking options. If he is selected for Friday’s game against Chelsea, Sturridge is likely to drop to the bench, which shows our strength in depth compared to previous seasons.
Imagine a year ago that a fit Sturridge wouldn’t be an automatic pick…
With Lallana seemingly a better player from his deeper central role, Firmino capable of playing anywhere and the injection of Mane’s pace out wide – Liverpool are an attacking force to be reckoned with – whoever gets the nod.