It’s weird to think that when we signed Sadio Mane for a little over £30m in 2016 it was regarded as a very big transfer fee.
Now, that price-tag seems like peanuts and the reality is, even in this current financial landscape, he’s worth five-times that – and some!
Jurgen Klopp though has explained how he always knew Mane was incredible – he just had to nurture him tactically to bring out the player we see week in, week out, today.
“He was really outstanding skill-wise but had a little lack of consistency which is probably why people thought ‘Really? So much money? You watch the wrong game!’” he told the Independent.
“Maybe people thought ‘I am not sure he is worth it’, but we were 100 per cent sure about him. Consistency was the key and absolutely now what he is doing and how he performs is consistent. The level he performs at is unbelievable.
“He is a complete player, offensively and defensively He works hard, he is really quick. For sure a few things we did from a tactical point of view helped the boys as well and Sadio is a good example for the improvement the whole squad.
“He has obviously improved a lot in the last few years – and from a very high level already – becoming a very good player to a world-class player, no doubt about that, and he is a winner on top of that.”
This term, Mane has hit 20 goals once again, meaning he’s now reached that milestone in three consecutive seasons.
Considering he doesn’t take penalties or free kicks, and does a huge amount of defensive work down his flank, this is all the more impressive.
Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk are also in contention, but there would be absolutely zero arguments if Mane was named Premier League Player of the Year for 2019/20.
We’d argue he’s the most important signing of Klopp’s reign, because he enabled us to get Champions League football for 2017/18, which is when we reached the final and it all started to happen.