Liverpool's Sadio Mane on five-man shortlist for BBC African Footballer of the Year award

Liverpool winger Sadio Mane has seen his excellent form rewarded with a nomination for the BBC's African Football of the Year award.

The Senegal international's sublime start to his Reds career - coupled with his performances for Southampton at the end of last season - has seen him recognised with a place on the five-man shortlist.

The 24-year-old has scored six Premier League goals and four assists so far for Jürgen Klopp's men, making him the club's highest scorer in the league

He only moved to Merseyside for around £30 million back in June, with the deal potentially worth £34 million to make him the most expensive African footballer ever, but has slotted seamlessly into a front-line that has already plundered 30 goals in just 11 games.

His start at Anfield follows on from a blistering spell for the Saints in which he fired eight goals in the last eight games of last season, including a brace against Liverpool and a hat-trick against Manchester City.

Mane would become only the second ever Senegalese in the award's history to claim the gong, after controversial former Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf did so in 2002 - having also signed for the club only halfway through the year.

He becomes the first Liverpool player to be nominated since Nigerian Victor Moses, on loan from Chelsea, in 2013.

Mane one of five on the shortlist, with Mahrez and Aubameyang the two favourites

He was nominated for the first time last season but lost out to Yaya Toure, who is also shortlisted this season - for the eighth consecutive year, having won it in 2015 and 2013.

The Manchester City midfielder has only scored three goals in 2016 until now and has played just once under the management of Pep Guardiola.

The Ivorian did score the winning penalty in the League Cup final shoot-out against Liverpool back in February and played an important role under Manuel Pellegrini last season.

Also in the running is West Ham United forward Andre Ayew, who helped ensure Swansea City stayed in the top-flight last term with his 12 goals and joined the Hammers for £20.5 million in the summer.

The Ghana international's crucial goals for the Swans included a brace in a 3-1 win against Liverpool which finally secured their safety in early May, but injury has thus far restricted his impact down in London.

Leicester City and Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez, a crucial component in the Foxes' barely believable title-winning campaign last year with 17 goals and 11 assists, is arguably the favourite to win.

The 25-year-old PFA Player of the Year has four goals and two assists to his name this year, with three goals coming in the club's maiden Champions League campaign.

He is likely to be ran closest by Borussia Dortmund and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has again enjoyed another stellar season and is shortlisted for the fourth straight year.

The prolific striker - who scored against Liverpool in the Europa League back in April - has 11 goals in nine Bundesliga appearances this season, taking his tally to 25 in all competitions in total in the current calendar year alone.

Furthermore, Aubameyang became the first African to win the Bundesliga Player of the Year last season, as well as the first Gabonese to be voted the Confederation of African Football's Player of the Year. He is also on the 2016 FIFA Ballon d'Or shortlist.

The award is decided by a global open vote, which closes on 28 November, with the results then announced on December 12.