Sadio Mane did well at Southampton, scoring the fastest ever Premier League hat-trick and earning a move to Liverpool.
But he was not the world-class player he undeniably is now – and it was perhaps because of a more fractious relationship with his team-mates than previously realised.
Victor Wanyama, his former Saints team-mate, has explained how Mane once told him the other players were not passing to him – asking the Kenyan specifically to make sure he gave him the ball.
It all sounds pretty playground, and not something you could imagine happening in a Jurgen Klopp dressing room, anyway.
“We were like a family under one father [Mauricio] Pochettino but I and Mane forged a bigger brotherhood bond but [Morgan] Schneiderlin was also a great friend,” Wanyama told Madgoat TV, cited in Goal.
“At one point, Mane approached me and told me ‘hi man, these guys do not want to pass the ball to me, can the two of us play closely. They do not want me to score.’ I reluctantly agreed and anytime I got the ball I would pass it to him though.
“I wanted to treat him right since he is a good and nice guy.”
At Liverpool, Mane has terrific service from both flanks and hard-working midfielders who constantly feed him the ball.
Sometimes Mo Salah could provide Mane with a little more, but their friendly rivalry helps to make our attack so blistering – especially considering Roberto Firmino is selfless in between the pair.
After all, last term, Mane and Salah shared the Golden Boot – so something must be working properly!