Pundit: This player contributes to Liverpool even when he isn’t scoring goals

Emile Heskey explains why Sadio Mane is so vital to the Liverpool cause..

Emile Heskey has underlined the importance of Sadio Mane to the Liverpool side.

The Senegal international returned to the Liverpool side from the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this month after Mane missed six games in what was a disappointing January for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Mane played a vital role in Liverpool’s first win of 2017 in the Premier League after the African winger scored twice in the first half to help the Merseyside outfit seal a 2-0 win against top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The 24-year-old has netted 11 times and has made four assists in 21 games in the English top flight following his big-money move to Liverpool from Premier League rivals Southampton in the summer transfer window.

Liverpool have jetted off to Malaga for a warm weather training camp ahead of their next Premier League outing at Leicester City on Monday 27 February.

Speaking to Liverpool’s website about Mane’s influence on Klopp’s side, Heskey highlighted just how important the African forward is to the Anfield outfit.

“He was always going to be a miss, he’s a huge, huge influence,” Heskey told Liverpool’s website.

“He’s a great player and when you get him back and he’s scoring goals like that you’re obviously going to say he was a huge miss.

“Just having him on the pitch is great.

“Down the years, we’ve always had players who have that influence [and] regardless if they’re playing good, bad or indifferent they give you something mentally just by being on the pitch.

“He seems to be one of those players.”

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Liverpool are in fifth place in the Premier League table.

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