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Mane never needed Diaz competition to perform at Liverpool - Klopp

17:04 BST 18/04/2022
Sadio Mane
The 54-year-old has expressed his satisfaction with the way the Lion of Teranga has been dedicated to the Reds

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has discussed the form of Sadio Mane, and how it relates to the impact of new signing Luis Diaz at the club.

The Colombia international was signed by the Reds in the short transfer window and has since played eight matches across all competitions, scoring three goals in the process.

The German tactician insists Mane always gives his best and that sometimes the positions of the players can be changed to accommodate both of them.

"I have known Sadio [Mane] for nearly six years, as far as I know, he never needed any kind of competition to try to be the best version of himself," Klopp said in the press conference, looking forward to the Manchester United game on Tuesday.

"He played for a long time pretty much all games when he was fit and performed on an incredibly high level consistently. Bringing in Luis [Diaz] I am not sure it affected that part of his game, I don't know.

"That was not the reason for bringing in Luis and playing in the centre obviously suits Sadio very well as well. He scored goals, so important, from the left wing but he can play the centre as well."

Klopp further stated the Senegal international has taken time to rediscover his best form as he needed to recover from his exertions when his national team won the Africa Cup of Nations and qualified for the World Cup.

The 54-year-old was further impressed with the way the 30-year-old played in the 3-2 FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City on the weekend - where he scored a brace.

"Sadio [Mane] as well had some physical struggles since he came back; he didn't feel it but we could see he could not use his immense physicality week in, week out, or every three days – that was the problem," Klopp continued.

"I really felt before the game against City 'okay, that looks like Sadio [Mane] physically' and that is why he could play the game he played.

"Very important, he was super-difficult to defend and very helpful and incredibly important in our defending because the first goal he scored you only can score if you try to get there and he did that and you only do this run if you feel fresh enough to do it.

"No, I don’t think Luis [Diaz] is the reason Sadio scored four goals [in his last four matches] but somehow maybe because Luis [Diaz] obviously can keep the last line pretty busy that then opens up gaps for other players."