BBC pundit Garth Crooks reckons Sadio Mane is carrying Liverpool at the moment.
The 61-year-old selected the Senegalese superstar in his Team of the Week, and remarked the forward ’caused mayhem’ against Tottenham Hotspur.
Mane didn’t score at Anfield against the north Londoners, but was a thorn in the visitors’ side and won a penalty for Mo Salah to convert and win the match.
It was only the latest great performance in a string of many this season, and Crooks thinks there is a new talisman at Anfield.
He said (BBC Sport): “Two seasons ago it was Mo Salah who was carrying Liverpool. Last season it was Virgil van Dijk who had a massive influence on the success of the team. This season it’s Sadio Mane who is carrying Liverpool on his shoulders.
“His speed, power and strength have been a feature of Liverpool’s play this season and without the Senegal international, life at the top would be considerably less comfortable. It was Mane who caused mayhem in Tottenham’s ranks the entire match and the reason they lost.”
TBR’s view – Mane a bonafide superstar
Maybe Mane isn’t quite ‘carrying’ Liverpool as Crooks suggests, but there is no doubting he is now a world-class talent.
The 27-year-old is simply so dangerous and not only is he much more clinical these days with his finishing, but his work rate is also outstanding.
He’s probably been the standout performer for Liverpool so far along with Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino, and scarily he probably hasn’t even hit top gear yet.
Arguably he is the forward top-flight defenders would least like to face at the moment, and his form will be key to how successful the Reds’ bid for a first Premier League title is come May 2020.