Explained: Why Sadio Mane has been in poor form for Liverpool

Sadio Mane, Liverpool (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Sadio Mane, Liverpool (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

For over four years, Sadio Mane has been Liverpool’s most consistent player. Game after game. When the chips are down. The Senegalese winger could always be relied on to deliver the goods. Until recently that is.

The Sadio Mane of late has seemingly lost an extra burst of pace and has looked sluggish at times which is wholly uncharacteristic of the energic and explosive forward he has been in the last few years.

Criticism has been aplenty and sometimes rightly so. But context should be important here.

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Up until the Tottenham fixture earlier this year, Mane was undoubtedly one of the Reds’ biggest threat going forward in every game. Against Spurs Mane delivered the goods with a goal and an assist.

Sadio Mane has not looked the same for Liverpool.

However, he then picked up a muscle injury which ruled him out for the next games against Brighton and West Ham United.

His return from injury coincided with the Reds biggest game of the season against Manchester City where admittedly the Senegalese international did look sluggish. And has continued to be the same ever since.

With the Reds injury record and lack of options, Mane’s sudden loss of pace could be explained by the fact that the Reds’ winger could have been rushed back a bit too early and is still feeling the impact of his muscle injury.

It probably is not aided by the fact that Mane has played every 90 minutes since coming back from the muscle injury except for the Premier League game against Fulham.

This season there have been prominent signs of fatigue in Mane’s game. Against Ajax back the autumn he was spotted with an ice-pack wrapped around his legs. He also suffered from Covid-19 before that which could have impacted the Senegalese’s fitness.

Against Leipzig Mane was smart and assured, but his pace was fairly non-existent once again. Perhaps a long overdue rest is needed for the Reds’ fan favourite when Roberto Firmino returns from his injury.

Of course it’s important to note that in supposedly poor form Sadio Mane has still registered 17 goals and assists in 37 games which is not a bad return for a winger.

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What do you think is causing Sadio Mane’s poor form?