Liverpool’s Senegalese star striker Sadio Mané has revealed that the excellent relationship between himself and Reds coach Jurgen Klopp has allowed him to quickly become comfortable at Anfield.
When Mane first made the move to Liverpool from Southampton in an African record £34 million signing, he admitted that he found it slightly difficult, but soon managed to find a home of his own and settled in well thanks to his German manager.
‘It was a bit difficult in England at first with the weather and the rain, but I love the football culture in this country. I stayed in a hotel for a little while when I moved to Liverpool but I have a place in the south of the city now. I go to restaurants with my friends. I love it here,’ the Senegalese international admitted.
‘It is a pleasure to work under the instructions of the manager. What he is good at is pushing players to do their best. He drives everybody on as a team. He likes the players and the players all appreciate him as well,’ Mané added.
The striker managed to find his feet almost immediately at Liverpool, and in 15 Premier League appearances he has scored seven goals while contributing five assists. Mane attributes this successful start to life at Anfield to the relationship players have with Klopp.
‘What’s different about Klopp? That’s a good question. The big difference is that he is very close to his players and they feel close to him. It is the human touch. The players work for him and want to win for him. The forwards love the fluidity in attack.’
On Monday night Liverpool are away to Everton in Premier League action, with Mané set to feature in his first Merseyside derby. Liverpool are currently third in the table, and a win would take them into second, leapfrogging Manchester City.
Mane will soon leave England to do battle for Senegal at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, and that will leave Klopp without his top striker in January.
His absence will no doubt be felt by Liverpool, and that thought will inspire Mané to do his best to make a difference for his Premier League side before departing for the Nations Cup.
Senegal national team staff will be watching Monday night’s match with some fear as any injury at this late stage would rule the player out of the Teranga Lions’ charge for AFCON glory, and the Merseyside derby is often a physical and aggressive battle of epic proportions.