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What makes Sadio Mane so valuable

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After becoming the first player in Premier League history to play 50 home games for a single club and not lose a single match, Liverpool winger Sadio Mane made his mark in English football history after Liverpool’s 3-1 over Newcastle United at Anfield. Sadio Mane has had an incredible year with Liverpool, winning 97 points throughout the 18/19 season and helping Liverpool win their sixth European Cup. So we got thinking about Mane’s time at Liverpool and started looking at what makes him such a key figure in Jurgen Klopp's side.

Goal scoring record

Scoring 4 goals in 5 appearances, Mane has started the 19/20 season in the same form that he displayed throughout the 18/19 season where he scored 22 goals in 36 Premier League games which saw him share the Golden Boot with Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Mane continuing his goal-scoring form in Europe as well as he scored 4 goals in Liverpool Champions League-winning campaign, including a brace against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. Something which makes Mane’s goal scoring record even more impressive is the fact that he is the only player currently in the Premier League who has scored more than 25 goals since the start of the 18/19 season without scoring a single penalty.

His versatility

One quality which is commonly overlooked by people is versatility and the ability to adapt to any position which is required by the manager. With Raheem Sterling receiving recognition and praise for his versatility to play on either wing for Manchester City, Mane should receive the same recognition for demonstrating the same adaptability and willingness to play on the right side of Liverpool’s attack if needed. On top of playing on either side Mane is capable of playing down the middle for Liverpool in a centre-forward position, giving Jurgen Klopp many options when organising his attack. To have the ability to be able to play on either side and down the middle is a quality that very few players have and it’s a quality that puts Sadio Mane above many other players.

His partnership with Firmino and Salah

It’s not uncommon knowledge that simply having better players means that you will be more successful as there have been many occasions where big names have been brought into squads where they have failed to live up to the hype due to having no knowledge of their teammates and how they play. In recent days there has been much talk regarding Liverpool’s front 3, with most talk discussing whether Mohamed Salah has been too selfish recently for Liverpool where he has opted to shoot rather than passing to a teammate in a better position. Jurgen Klopp was quick to dismiss the talks, telling people to “forget any Sadio Mane and Mo Salah friction”. Despite the recent talks about Mane and Salah it’s clear that the relationship between Liverpool’s front 3 has been fundamental in Liverpool’s recent success as they are either scoring themselves or assisting each other, it’s clear to see that they are knowledgeable about how each other play as they are always running into space for each other and know the exact place they are positioned to find them with crosses and through balls.