Sadio Mane has made a fantastic start to the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Newcastle saw the Senegalese start up front for Liverpool instead of Roberto Firmino and score twice, taking his overall tally to four goals.
Added to the assist he recorded in the 2-1 win against his former employers, Southampton, last month and it’s clear that Mane is on for another strong season.
There’s an argument to be made that the 27-year-old is Jurgen Klopp’s most important signing at Anfield – more so than Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.
Mane joined Liverpool for £30m in 2016 and in his first season fired them back into the Champions League with 13 Premier League goals, joint most with Philippe Coutinho.
Returning to Europe’s elite competition instantly made Liverpool a more appealing side to join, and that summer they signed Salah, Andy Robertson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Virgil van Dijk later joined in January for £75m and in the summer of 2018, Alisson and Fabinho were added to the ranks.
Fast forward to now and Liverpool are the Champions League holders and in possession of one of the best teams in world football.
So there you have it – it all started with Mane.
He’s been so good for Liverpool that £30m now looks like an absolute steal, but that wasn’t the general consensus at the time of his move.
When Sky Sports News announced on June 26, 2016, that Liverpool had agreed a £30m deal for Mane, football fans made a LOT of jokes on Twitter. Check out some of the responses below.