According to a recent report by the Daily Mirror, Liverpool wide player Sadio Mane is expected to miss out on the start of the new Premier League campaign following his heavy involvement in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Reds star helped his nation Senegal reach the final of the competition on Friday when he set-up an extra time goal to steer his country to a 1-0 win over Tunisia.
The Daily Mirror has also mentioned that the AFCON final will take place just three weeks before Jurgen Klopp’s men kick things off against Norwich City in the English top-flight. The German head coach has allowed all of his players to enjoy a three-week vacation to recover from exertion during the summer, which indicates that Mane could miss out against the Canaries next month.
Mane’s Stellar Form At Anfield Last Season
This recent development will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Merseyside club as they try to mount another strong Premier League title charge in the upcoming campaign. Mane was one of the most integral members of Klopp’s squad and was the driving force behind Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League triumph in the last term.
He featured in 50 matches for the Reds last season, scoring 26 goals while grabbing five assists in all competitions. The 27-year-old has also earned a wealth of experience at the international level, having made 60 appearances while registering 16 goals for Senegal thus far.
What Does The Senegalese Speedster Offer On The Field?
Mane boasts blistering pace which allows him to make penetrative dribbles down the left flank. The Senegalese international is also an unforgiving finisher inside the opposing penalty box as evidenced by the golden boot he won in the Premier League along with his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season.
Can The Reds Cope With Mane’s Absence Vs Norwich?
Klopp would have to find an ideal way to cope with his absence for the game against Norwich in the opening night of the new league campaign. On a positive note, Rhian Brewster, Divock Origi, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino should all be fit and available for selection which means that the European champions won’t have to rush Mane back from his summer break.
Both Brewster and Origi have been amongst the goals in the preseason matches with the former scoring in both games against Tranmere Rovers and Bradford City thus far. Barring any late injuries or suspensions, the Reds should still have enough depth in their squad to cope with Mane’s absence for the start of the new domestic campaign,