Premier League • England

Klopp told of the perfect duo who can replace Mane and Salah at Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been told the perfect replacements for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are already within his grasp at Anfield ahead of their departures on African Cup of Nations duty.

The Reds’ talismans are both enjoying incredible seasons. Mane is back in the groove at Anfield this season, scoring nine goals in 18 matches so far. Salah, meanwhile, just never seems to let his standards dip; the Egyptian King now boasts 17 goals in 18 appearances this season.

However, the duo will depart for AFCON duty shortly after the turn of the year, leaving Liverpool with two big holes to fill.

As such, the Reds have been linked with a number of big-name signings. Indeed, Leeds winger Raphinha and Karim Adeyemi of RB Salzburg are among those mentioned as potential targets.

However, Emile Heskey insists Klopp can look much closer to home to find replacements for his star men. And the former Reds striker thinks Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi are perfectly placed to answer Klopp’s January SOS.

“You’re missing someone for a month – that’s goals, assists, the ability that Salah gives you is going to be a huge miss,” Heskey told the Daily Express.

“Sometimes you rely on Mane if Salah is not there, but then he’s going away. It’s going to be tough, but someone will have to step up for them.

Liverpool target Karim Adeyemi available for £25m in summer

Liverpool target Karim Adeyemi available for £25m in summer

Liverpool target Karim Adeyemi will reportedly be available for £25m in the summer, with more updates on Kalvin Phillips and Ousmane Dembele.

“[Takumi] Minamino scored on the weekend [against Arsenal], so he is another one who could possibly step up.

“Divock [Origi] hasn’t really cemented a place, but he can be relied on – I don’t know about a full season – but he can be relied on.”

New Liverpool signing must slot straight in

Heskey also reckons Diogo Jota is more than capable of stepping up and admits he’s been impressed by the Portuguese.

He has been an excellent signing for the Reds, scoring 19 goals in 45 appearances so far.

And he wants Liverpool to follow that template if they bring someone else in during January.

“It’s got to be someone that fits straight in, Heskey added.

“Especially if you’re a forward and you’re brought in and the others are going.

“They will need instant success. This is the difficulty.

“[Diogo] Jota was fantastic – he came in, slotted straight in. If you can get another Jota, then brilliant, but they are few and far between.

“We’ve seen so many players come in and it’s taken them a year. You have to give them a year at times. You’ve got to remember that the Premier League is so intense.

“Everyone thinks that it’s easy. But when you get in there you find out how hard it is.”

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