BBC pundit praises Liverpool’s Sadio Mane after splendid calendar year

BBC Sport pundit Danny Murphy has praised the performances of Sadio Mane during the calendar where he has been the leading scorer in the Premier League. The Senegal international has accumulated 20 goals since the beginning of January for Liverpool and that is eight more than what Mohamed Salah has achieved during the same period.

Speaking on BBC’s MOTD programme, Murphy highlighted the improvement in Mane’s statistics in 2019 where he has also contributed in the form of assists, he said: “Mane scored 20 goals in 2019, more goals than anyone else in the Liverpool side. And he’s becoming more than just a goalscorer. He’s got that great pace to run in behind as we know, which stretches teams and helps Liverpool play on the counter. But look at that for a [dinked through] pass [to Mo Salah]. He’s added this to his game. People don’t think of Mane as being a provider, but his assist numbers are good. And on his weak foot. Doesn’t mind using that [to cross the ball from the left flank]. Perfect ball.”

The Senegal international only made a substitute appearance during the 4-1 thrashing of newly-promoted Norwich City during the league opener, but he has since flourished with three goals and an assist from just two matches. As such, he has managed to become the main contributor ahead of Salah during the opening weeks and it remains to be seen how the latter responds to the same.

Liverpool are presently at the top of the league table after two games played. They did not have the best performances at Southampton during the recent weekend, but they nonetheless scrapped through a slender 2-1 triumph after the pressure brought about by Adrian’s goalkeeping howler. Next up, they are scheduled to tackle Arsenal at Anfield. They have a strong recent record against the Gunners and have not dropped any points at home against them since January 2016.