Liverpool defender astonished by Sadio Mane in training

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Jon Flanagan was given hell by Sadio Mane at St. Mary’s last term, with the Senegalese scoring twice and mastering a 3-2 comeback win against Liverpool.

And our fullback, who signed a lengthy contract extension last term, has been waxing lyrical about the £30m attacker now he’s seen him closely during the first week of pre-season.

“Don’t remind me about that game!” Flanagan told the ECHO.

“He showed that day what a great player he is.

“He has pace and power, and he’s a great finisher as well.

“I’ve seen it already in training this week. He’s a top class player and I think he’s going to be a great asset for us this season.”

Mane is likely to start on the right for Liverpool, so there’s a chance the pair could be linking up if Jon Flanagan is used at right-back – although that spot is currently Nathaniel Clyne’s to lose.

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Flanno returned to pre-season early to show Jurgen Klopp he’s hungry to get back in the side, and we hope he impresses during the summer friendlies and at least puts himself in recognition for minutes. Remember, he’s equally adept at left-back, and Alberto Moreno’s spot there is surely not cemented.

Mane is not the only new player who’s impressed our 24-year-old defender, who also picked out Cameroonian defender Joel Matip for special praise.

“They are all good lads who are settling in well,” he continued.

“Matip is a big lad who is great on the ball. They all seem top players.

“We can’t dwell on what happened at the end of last season. We have to put that behind us and crack on. The signings can help us have a better season in the league and a couple of good runs in the cups.”

It’s great to have Scousers in the first-team squad who can help the integration of new players. Flanagan knows exactly what it means to be a Liverpool player, and without Steven Gerrard, the responsibility of instilling the right mentality into new arrivals lays partly with him now.

His role is more important than simply s a backup fullback.

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