Sadio Mane is never quite given the respect he deserves
Even when it was announced he was signing from Southampton back in 2016, the reaction wasn’t exactly overwhelming from our own supporters.
Perhaps this was because Mane had beaten Robbie Fowler’s fastest hat trick ever record in 2015? Whatever the reason, I distinctly remember the reaction to his signing but fairly muted.
I truthfully was incredibly excited by the news that he was joining. Just as I can prove with a rare insightful tweet from that summer!
It is also easy to forget that Mane had mostly played as a right-sided forward in his first year at Liverpool. He happily moved to the left upon the arrival of Mo Salah.
I remember there even being a very brief doubt about how to fit both of them into our strongest team! No such worries anymore, thankfully.
Last season, Mane then pulled off the incredible feat of scoring in every single round of the Champions League. As well as adding 10 league goals.
He was always a man for the big occasion and none was bigger than taking on the added responsibility of leading the Liverpool attack in Kiev after Salah went off injured.
I think it is fair to say that Mané can be a little erratic with his finishing at times. Equally important though, is to state that whether he is scoring or not, he never hides from a challenge.
He is rarely a player short on confidence. Lest we forget this great moment in the first leg of the Bayern last 16 tie. I am sure Joshua Kimmich hasn’t enjoyed seeing it anymore!
Sadio Mane is clearly a player who absolutely loves playing football. He plays with a youthful abandon rarely seen these days.
Mane also appears to be well-liked by his teammates. But beyond that exuberance, he is incredibly competitive and will do whatever it takes to win.
Mané’s recent form has been outstanding, even by his lofty standards. He has 8 goals in his last 8 league games and had a key brace in Munich on Wednesday.
I have always stated that when on top form Mané is even more dangerous than Salah. He is just so unpredictable to watch let alone what is must be like to play against him. He is just a devastating talent that I could watch all day.
The underlying statistics also shine a favorable light on Mané , he seems to have somehow taken his game up another level this season.
His shooting accuracy has jumped from 37% to 49% this year while he has just missed 7 big chances, fewer than his often more vaunted peers (Salah 14, Aubameyang 19, Jesus 18, Aguero 10, Kane 10).
I would love to see Mane get more credit wider football community for his contributions but in a sense, I do like that he is slightly underrated by outsiders. He is our Sadio, and I wouldn’t swap him for any other left winger in the world.