Liverpool's Sadio Mane is one of the most complete footballers around and has every right to be classed as the best in the Premier League.
Is there is a man that better personifies the Jurgen Klopp revolution at Liverpool better than Sadio Mane?
The Senegalese flyer was one of Klopp’s first ‘big-name’ signings at the club and rapidly became the focal point of everything at Anfield.
Mane quickly banished any doubts about his move with a fantastic debut season on Merseyside. His 13 goals and five assists were priceless as Liverpool reclaimed their spot amongst the European elite.
Check out highlights from his first season at Liverpool:
Mane would only grow into a more frightful threat with the arrival of Mohamed Salah. In combination with the Egyptian and Roberto Firmino, Mane drove the Reds to within a game of European glory, even scoring in that infamous Kyiv final.
The following season, however, would prove to be his best so far. With Liverpool playing some of the finest football the Kop had ever seen, Mane would go on to plunder 22 goals in the league, enough to earn him a Golden Boot. At the same time, his antics on the European front helped the Reds claim their sixth European cup.
Liverpool would eventually romp home in the Premier League title race. Thanks to Mane’s 18 goals and seven assists, Klopp’s side managed to rack up a staggering 99 points.
With his Anfield immortality status well cemented, many would have forgiven Mane for putting his feet up this season. But he looks more rabid than ever.
It’s not just his scintillating attacking prowess that makes Mane one of Klopp’s most beloved players. His work-rate off the ball is second to none. Mane is always at the helm of the well documented Gegenpress, running his socks off whenever his side is out of possession.
He reads the opposition like a Dr. Zeuss book and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Defenders aren’t allowed a moment’s peace on the ball, either.
His refusal to let the opposition rest leads to simple goalscoring opportunities for his grateful teammates. His close control is unreal, passing unerring, and his imagination is nothing short of whimsical.
To cap it all off, he’s road-runner quick and incredibly strong, making him nigh on impossible to shift off the ball.
You can’t help but get the sense that Mane would lay all selfish ambition to the side for the sake of his team. He is one of the most genuine blokes in football and, it’s about time we all accepted it; Sadio Mane is the best player in the Premier League.
Former Chelsea and Arsenal maestro Cesc Fabregas already thinks as much, and it’s difficult to disagree.
Mane’s contribution to Liverpool is so much more than his numbers. With three goals already to his name, however, the season ahead could prove to be a crowning year for Mane.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.