Liverpool told 25-year-old attacker is ‘perfect replacement’ for Philippe Coutinho

Garth Crooks believes Liverpool have a ready-made replacement for Philippe Coutinho in the shape of Sadio Mane

Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane Photo: Sadio Mane / Instagram

Garth Crooks has hailed Liverpool forward Sadio Mane as the “perfect replacement” for Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazil international has been linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona in the summer transfer window.

Coutinho has handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force through a move to the four-time European champions.

Liverpool have refused to consider the prospect of losing their South American playmaker despite performing well in the number 10’s absence.

The Reds were 4-0 winners against Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday thanks to goals from Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge.

Mane has scored in all three of Liverpool’s Premier League fixtures so far, while the Senegal forward played a crucial role in the Reds’ 6-3 aggregate win against Hoffenheim in the Champions League playoffs.

The 25-year-old matched Coutinho’s tally of 13 goals in the Premier League last season after Liverpool signed Mane in a £30m deal from Southampton.

Former Spurs forward Crooks believes Mane is a ready-made replacement for Coutinho should the Reds relent and sell the Brazil star this summer.

“It seems to me that Mane is the perfect replacement to take over from the Brazilian as Liverpool’s main man, never mind that £100m-plus is simply too good to turn down for any player, never mind one who only cost you £8.5m in the first place,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Liverpool are a wonderful club with a magnificent stage and they are very capable of finding another Coutinho. In fact, I already think they have one and his name is Sadio Mane.”

Liverpool have beaten Crystal Palace and Arsenal in their last two Premier League games to hoist themselves into second place in the table.

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