Sadio Mane might MISS on revenge mission against Aston Villa as Jurgen Klopp says star is struggling for form and admits ‘numbers aren’t great right now’
- Sadio Mane was able to watch from the couch as Liverpool take on Aston Villa
- Mane was a star for Liverpool but has struggled for most of this season
- The winger has just seven league goals, the last of which came on January 28
Sadio Mane could be left out of Liverpool’s revenge mission against Aston Villa after Jurgen Klopp realized there was a problem with his form.
The Senegal international has been one of Liverpool’s most important players since joining the club in 2016, but his impact this season has been far less than would be expected – he has scored just seven Premier League goals, the last of which was on January 28.
Mane has had a hectic schedule for the past three campaigns, but Klopp insists that physical fatigue has nothing to do with the way he struggled; The Liverpool manager has hinted at a problem with his confidence and expects a good performance to turn the tide.
Sadio Mane could be left out if Liverpool wants to take revenge on Aston Villa on Saturday
Whether that will happen against Villa on Saturday is questionable, however, as Klopp has made Roberto Firmino fully fit again and is considering playing the Brazilian alongside Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota as Liverpool try to correct the 7-2 defeat they faced in October last year. Birmingham suffered.
“We all know how good Sadio Mane is, what a player he is and what he has done for us,” Klopp said. ‘But of course the numbers aren’t great at the moment and he knows it. For a player with Sadio’s mindset, he wants to do extremely well. But this is the situation he is in.
‘Every striker in the world knows these kinds of situations. I’m not worried, but I can see it too (that his shape isn’t the best), it’s clear. We are working on it. It is the only answer I can give. The schedule of the past three years has been difficult for many players in world football.
Klopp knows that Mane, who has only scored seven league goals this season, is struggling
Klopp is fully aware of Mane’s quality and hopes the Senegalese star will return soon
“That’s true for him too, but I don’t think that’s the reason. There’s no physical problem for Sadio, no real problem – we all need a break now and then, that’s clear – but it’s not a general problem.
It’s just the situation. If you don’t score for a while, strikers start to think. There comes a point when you start thinking exactly the right things again and then it will be all right. We must ensure that this time is not too far away. ‘
Another Liverpool player with a question about his form is Naby Keita. The Guinea midfielder was substituted four minutes before halftime during Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, a grim admission that his surprise hadn’t worked.
Keita has struggled to live up to the high bills he received when he arrived from RB Leipzig in 2018, but Klopp has spoken to him about the reasons why he took him away. However, he wouldn’t give any indication of when the 26-year-old will start over.
“That’s all taken care of – how we act against Villa has nothing to do with that,” Klopp said. ‘Yeah, it might be right or not (that he gets a quick chance to play). If possible we will see. Actually, that’s it. I spoke to Naby. ‘
Klopp has spoken with midfielder Naby Keita about why he knocked him out against Real Madrid