Sadio Mane can fire Liverpool to the title with consistent finishing
Sadio Mane has to find consistency in his finishing.
The Liverpool man scored yesterday against Leeds, yet he only netted once from his ten shots on goal.
He should have netted far more than the single goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 win.
This was a performance that could have gone from a comfortable win to a mauling if the Senegalese wide-man was on top of his game.
Unfortunately, this seems to be happening too often for Mane.
In just four games this season Mane is already underperforming his xG by 1.52 (Understat).
Before eventually scoring at Elland Road he missed a clear opportunity.
The 29-year-old managed to blaze over from around four yards out following Diogo Jota’s pull-back.
This is a continuation of last season’s performances for Mane.
His 11 goals and seven assists were both underperformances of his xG and xA stats and it’s high time he started to turn the corner.
If Mane can start to finish with more precision then Liverpool could go from good to great this season.
Mo Salah is clearly the main goal scorer.
However, if Mane can chime in with 15+ goals, as he did in the highly successful 18/19 and 19/20 seasons, then success will be much more achievable.
It’s no coincidence that those two campaigns saw the Reds win the Champions League and Premier League – with Mane the joint winner of the 18/19 golden boot.
Having extra goals coming from the opposite flank won’t only mean more for Mane however.
If Mane starts to become more dangerous, the extra marking and defending required to stop him will take away from the efforts to stop Mo Salah.
Should the pair start working in tandem and both add goals consistently then Jurgen Klopp’s side will be a much more fearsome unit.
As things stand the Reds will be expected to finish in the top four.
However, there’s no reason this side can’t fight for the title.
The only player they’ve lost from the title winning team is Georginio Wijnaldum.
With Thiago now fully integrated in the side, though, there is plenty of talent at Anfield.
It’s just a matter of Mane finding his shooting boots to help Salah force them over the line.
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