Jurgen Klopp on why Sadio Mane has seen an upturn in form and Luis Diaz’s role in his purple patch for the Reds

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Sadio Mane has been on fire in recent games and his performances against Manchester City caught the eye of many, including Jurgen Klopp.

The boss was full of praise for the brilliant form of our No.10 and Luis Diaz’s role in improved performances, as he faced the media before the Manchester United game: “I have known Sadio for nearly six years [and] as far as I’ve known him he never needed any competition to try to be the best version of himself.

“He played, for a long time, pretty much all the games for us when he was fit and performed on an incredibly high level consistently. That’s it,” the boss said.

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“Bringing in Luis, I am not sure that affected that part of his game, I don’t know. That was not the reason for bringing in Luis and playing in the centre obviously suits Sadio very well, as well. So he played for us, scored incredible goals and some important goals from the left wing, but he can play the centre as well and we saw that again [on Saturday].

“But Sadio as well had some physical struggles since he came back [from international duty]. That’s completely normal. He could not – Sadio doesn’t feel it but we could see it – use his immense physicality just like this [immediately] week in and week out, or every three days. That was the problem.

“I really felt before the game already against City, ‘OK, that looks like Sadio physically’ and that’s why he could play the game he played. Very important. He was super difficult to defend and very helpful and incredibly important in our defending because the goal he scored, the first one, you only can score if you try to get there and he did it. And you only do this run if you feel fresh enough to do it, these kind of things. This all works together pretty much.

“No, I don’t think that Luis is the reason that Sadio scored four goals, but somehow maybe [he helps] as well because Luis obviously can keep a last line pretty busy and that opens up always gaps for other players.”

We all know the quality of all of our attacking players, the biggest nightmare for most defenders is that they can’t double up on any of them as it leaves space for another.

Mo Salah seems to be the player gathering the most headlines for a drop in performances but in our Senegalese winger, we certainly have one member of the front line in top form.

It’s interesting to see what the Colombian’s role in this is as well, our manager is blessed to have so many brilliant options available for him.

You can watch Klopp’s words on Mane via our Twitter account (@empireofthekop) and the press conference in full via our YouTube account (Empire of the Kop):

#Ep43 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Should Salah be dropped v Man City? Keita contract… and more!

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