Martin Keown: Losing this Liverpool player will be nightmare for Jurgen Klopp
The former Arsenal defender warns Jurgen Klopp that Sadio Mane's pace will be difficult to replace
Liverpool will miss Sadio Mane’s pace in Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up during the Africa Cup of Nations, according to Martin Keown.
The Senegal international scored a winner in the fourth minute of added time after Mane pounced on a rebound to secure a 1-0 victory over Everton in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Monday night.
Mane has scored eight times and has made four assists in 16 Premier League appearances this season after his £34m move to Liverpool from Southampton in the summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old winger will be unavailable for Liverpool duty once the Africa Cup of Nations starts on 14 January, with the tournament’s final set to take place on 5 February.
Former Arsenal defender Keown discussed the impact that Mane’s participation in the Africa Cup of Nations could have on Klopp’s Liverpool team.
“Losing him will be a nightmare for Klopp,” Keown told The Daily Mail.
“He is a difficult player to be without because he has more pace than anyone else in the Liverpool squad. He was on to the rebound from Daniel Sturridge’s shot against Everton like a flash to score. Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana are all similar types of player and Mane has the ingredient the others haven’t.”
Liverpool are in second place in the Premier League table and six points behind leaders Chelsea.
Mane was one of seven summer signings at the end of the 2015-16 season.