Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool's Sadio Mané still a "fantastic player" even when he's not at his best

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp still places a great deal of faith in winger Sadio Mané despite the Senegal forward's relative recent struggles and says he remains a threat to any opponent.

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool's Sadio Mané still a "fantastic player" even when he's not at his best
(Picture: Getty Images - Gareth Copley)

Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp says he is not concerned by Sadio Mané's inconsistent form of late and believes even on a bad that the winger is a game-changing player.

The Senegalese winger has had several key contributions, namely his stunning strikes in January wins over Burnley and Manchester City and clever assists in wins over Leicester City and Huddersfield Town, despite being out of form.

Mané is seen still to have struggled to reach the kind of heights that saw him crowned Player of the Season in his first campaign on Merseyside last term, when he finished the club's second highest goalscorer.

But the 25-year-old has nine goals and six assists to his name this season and is still fully capable of fashioning moments of individual quality that can win matches against any opponent. 

And Klopp is well aware of that, declaring that the club are working on getting the influential Mané back to his best, but that he still offers so much between now and then.

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Klopp: Mané a "fantastic player" even without being at his peak

Asked about Mané's recent form, Klopp said: "I don't think too much about it, to be honest. Even if Sadio is not at his best, he is still a threat for the other team."

The German suggested that the Reds' No.19 "had probably the two biggest chances" in their win at Huddersfield last time out but "didn't score", calling it "absolutely no problem" because they won 3-0.

"You need to carry on and keep on going," Klopp explained. "I realise good moments of the players, or fantastic moments, or average moments, but it's not that you can always change it immediately. You have to go through. You have to build on the good things and work on the not-so-good things."

The Reds boss insisted that even "on an average day" the former Southampton attacker "is still a fantastic player" and called that "the good news" with Mané - who has 22 goals and 15 assists in 54 games for Liverpool since signing for around £34 million.

Klopp suggested that the player's season has "had interruptions through injuries and a red card" having had a hamstring problem and missed three games for a straight sending off back in September.

Comparing Mané to fellow winger Mohamed Salah, who signed from AS Roma last summer and has since scored 26 goals in 33 appearances, insisting the pair are "best friends" and are "not jealous."

"But everybody is watching what he is doing," continued Klopp. "Adapting to all these situations is how a team grows together. That's what's happening."

The manager noted that Liverpool "have the points we have so far" without having Mané in his best shape, insisting that everyone at the club knows "he can play better" and that they will "work on it."