Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says that he has a “lot of respect” for Liverpool winger and fellow African Sadio Mane.
The Premier League has enjoyed a recent influx of African stars who have become some of the world’s best talents.
Senegal international Mane has become a world-class winger at Southampton and Liverpool. And while Aubameyang made his name at Borussia Dortmund, his stock has risen significantly in north London.
Speaking to Stades (via WiwSport), Aubameyang spoke fondly of Mane and his impact not just off the pitch but in his home town.
What’s more, he labelled his Liverpool rival a “wild animal” on the pitch for his intense work rate and deadly finishing.
“Sadio is the player of the Africans. He’s also the type of player every manager would like to have in their team,” Gabon star Aubameyang said.
“Like all African players in the Premier League, we tease each other, joke before and after each game.
“Sadio, once kick off has taken place, he’s a wild animal. I have a lot of respect for him, because after what you see on social media and the news, he’s someone who’s done a lot for his native village.”
A recent documentary – Made in Senegal – highlighted the work Mane has done to improve the fortunes of people in his home town.
The 28-year-old has paid to help build a school, a hospital and a mosque in Bambali.
As well as Mane and Aubameyang, several other Africans have taken English football by storm. Most notably for Liverpool, Egypt star Mohamed Salah now has over 100 goals for his club.
But more recently, Ghana’s Thomas Partey has joined Aubameyang at Arsenal, with Aubameyang describing the pair’s close relationship.
Pundit predicts ‘painful’ evening for Liverpool
Meanwhile, Ian Wright fears that Liverpool could be in for a tough evening against Leicester on Sunday.
The two sides, third and first in the Premier League respectively, clash at Anfield in a crunch meeting.
But the hosts are facing defensive weakness, something which Wright feels Jamie Vardy will be looking to expose.