The former Reds midfielder believes a man who has reached a century of goals in English football has to be in contention for a prestigious prize
Liverpool’s “unassuming superstar” Sadio Mane deserves to join Jordan Henderson and Virgil van Dijk in any debate regarding the 2019-20 Player of the Year, says Jamie Redknapp.
The Senegal international forward has starred again for the Reds this season.
Given that he shares a dressing room and starting XI with some of the finest talent on the planet, the 27-year-old does not always get the recognition he deserves.
His importance to the Liverpool cause was underlined again on his most recent outing, as he returned from injury to step off the bench and secure a 1-0 win over Norwich.
That effort was his 100th in English football, with Redknapp looking for a humble performer to come into contention for the most prestigious of personal prizes in the Premier League.
The former Liverpool midfielder told the Daily Mail: “Sadio Mane’s reaction to being told he had just scored his 100th goal in the English game said it all. There are no egos in this Liverpool team.
“I was in the Sky Sports studio at Carrow Road and Mane, having been told he’d just hit his century, said: ‘Really? Wow. Thank you.’
“He had not gone into that game thinking about reaching that personal milestone — he wasn’t even aware of it!
“He went into it thinking solely about Liverpool getting the win they needed. This is such a team effort from Jurgen Klopp’s men.
“Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino could not breach Norwich’s resilient back line, but Mane came off the bench and did the job. So who wins Player of the Year?
“It could be anyone from Jordan Henderson to Virgil van Dijk to Trent Alexander-Arnold — and Mane is in the equation, too. Their unassuming superstar.”
Mane’s match-winner against the Canaries has taken him to 16 goals for the season across all competitions.
He has already helped Liverpool to UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup honours this term, while Jurgen Klopp’s side are now 25 points clear of the chasing pack when it comes to a one-sided Premier League title race.