Gerard Houiller has been speaking about setting Sadio Mane’s career on the path that eventually saw him end up at Anfield.
The former Reds boss first spotted Mane when he was in charge of scouting for RB Salzburg, at the 2012 London Olympics, and plucked him from French football, where he was playing for Metz.
According to the Sunday People, 24/03, page 53, he said: “What I liked straight away was his speed and ability on the ball. When I was at Liverpool, I introduced a player liaison scheme and we did the same at Salzburg.
“We played against Bayern Munich and won 3-0. He scored one and made one. Bayern wanted to sign him after that. Mane is an ideal player for Liverpool. He has matured into one of the finest forwards in Europe.
“You can compare his speed on the ball to Kylian Mbappe. I’m delighted for him. Other big clubs would love him but he is with one of the biggest.”
Via Southampton, Mane eventually ended up at Liverpool, in 2016, on a deal that the BBC reported at the time was worth £34m.
Mane has taken on the step up to an elite side impressively but Houiller makes it clear that even from early on in his career, the winger had the talent to make it at the very top.