Phil McNulty drew attention to Sadio Mane’s remarkable, if somewhat overlooked, goal rate for Liverpool, hailing the contributions of a talent Jurgen Klopp labelled ‘world-class’.
The Senegalese international was on target once again for the Reds as an early 1-0 lead for Aston Villa was overturned courtesy of goals from Joel Matip and the No.10.
“Like Salah, Mane’s Liverpool contract ends after next season and if Salah’s deal is the major item on the agenda for Liverpool’s decision makers after Klopp’s new deal, then Mane should not be far behind,” BBC Sport‘s chief football writer wrote.
“He has played 266 games in all competitions since joining Liverpool from Southampton for £34m in June 2016, his goal at Villa bringing his tally to 119. He has scored 22 goals in 48 games in all competitions this season, with 15 goals in 33 league games.
“These are high-class statistics that prove Mane is a player of the highest quality. He is unselfish and can work right across the front-three attacking system Klopp prefers.”
The question now remains as to whether the 30-year-old has a future at Anfield beyond the current summer and, more importantly, beyond the expiry date of his contract in 2023.
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Based on his current level of contributions following a well-advised shift to the middle of the front-three in light of Luis Diaz’s addition to the squad in the winter window, there are clear signs on offer to suggest that Mane is more than capable of keeping up such performances well into his 30s.
It will require quite the vote of confidence from our owners, FSG, to fork out lucrative deals for both top scorer Mo Salah and our ex-RB Salzburg ace.
Nonetheless, if Klopp’s confidence in the left-winger turned No.9 is unshakeable, particularly now that the ex-Borussia Dortmund tactician has committed his future to the club until the summer of 2026, it’s a decision we can ill-afford to get wrong.
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