Jurgen Klopp has been full of praise for the ‘outstanding’ ability of Sadio Mane, and dropped a hint that he could even play a new, deeper role for the team
The Senegalese attacker has started the 2018/19 season strongly, topping the side’s scoring charts with six Premier League goals in 11 games and currently even out-scoring Mohamed Salah. Mane predominantly starts on the left wing for the Reds, but Klopp feels he has all the qualities needed to lead the line or even take up a deeper midfield role if required. “He is an outstanding player, I never had any other opinion,” Klopp told Premier League Productions.
“Since he came in he helped the team so much, he improved so much. He is an outstanding offensive player. If you ask me if he is a striker, yes, from time to time; is he a midfielder, yes, from time to time; he can probably play a slightly deeper position as well — we don’t have to play him there because we have other players there but he could play it as well.
He is physically strong, technically strong, he is unbelievably quick, he is quick in mind as well, and he is a good shooter with both feet. That makes a good player and he is a fantastic person. He needed more confidence when he came in, the start was really good but I think he was a bit surprised by himself.
Everything was good until the first time his shape dropped a little bit and then he struggled a bit with that, because he needed to get used to that he is a world-class player. Now, he knows that much better. That helps us. He is a really good player.”
One would not associate Mane with a deeper role, considering his bombastic playing style and speed of thought and feet. Klopp, though, feels differently, and who are we to disagree. Perhaps waiting and watching will be the best move, but irrespective if whether Mane succeeds or not, it will be a fun ride.