Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has taken a risk with his comments about Sadio Mane.
The Citizens boss has caused a stir by suggesting the Senegal international goes to ground too easily at times.
The comments come before Manchester City and Liverpool face off this weekend in a top-of-the-table clash at Anfield.
Mane has been in red-hot form this season, and helped himself to 10th goal in all competitions with a late winner against Aston Villa.
In the eyes of Murphy, there is no one better right now in the English top-flight.
Speaking on talkSPORT, he said: “In hindsight he might look back on that and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t said that’.
“If I was him, the last thing I’d want to do is wind up the best player in the Premier League at the moment and before you play him next week.
“Mane is playing incredibly well and if it does spur him on a little bit more, than why take the risk?”
TBR’s view – Guardiola playing with fire
It certainly is a risk to speak about Mane the way Guardiola did.
He’ll hope to have got in the 27-year-old’s head, but there’s just as good a chance he will have lit a fire under the already red-hot Mane – who has 27 goals in all competitions this calendar year.
With five goals and an assist against City during his time in the Premier League, Mane is already a huge danger and City fans will hope to see him kept quiet.