Liverpool’s player of the year Sadio Mane is delighted with his return to fitness, and is looking to play a key role in the Reds’ ambitions of silverware this coming campaign.
The attack-minded player had his season cut short when he suffered a knee injury in the Merseyside derby on April 1. His absence was also apparent when he left the Reds for Africa Cup of Nations duty with Senegal in January.
Despite the absences throughout the season, Mane’s first season at Anfield was deemed a huge success, with the 25-year-old finishing the campaign on 13 goals from 29 appearances.
Having worked hard over the summer to get back to his peak fitness, Mane has now set his sights on surpassing his goal tally for the previous season, and wants to add trophies to Liverpool’s accolades for the coming campaign.
“I’m very happy to be back. It was not easy to be off the pitch for three months. Finally, I’m back and I’m happy to be back. I’m looking forward to the season,” Mane told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I’m a professional and every football player would like to play each week. I want to always help my teammates on the pitch and help my club to get better.
“[I want] to score more goals for my team and to assist as well. Why not win trophies with the team? I’m very confident and looking forward to it.
“There are still some things to work on. That’s why I’m training all the time. It will come. I’m not 100 per cent fit but it’s pre-season so I’m OK with that. It will come.”
Whilst speculation around Philippe Coutinho’s future is still ripe, Mane’s return to fitness will provide a huge bonus for Jurgen Klopp, and will excite the fans, for whom he became a favourite soon after his move from Southampton.