Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has heaped praise on teammate Sadio Mane after his latest performance in the win over Aston Villa.
Liverpool knew that nothing less than a win at Villa Park would do after drawing with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon.
Douglas Luiz – a former Manchester City player – threatened to deal Liverpool a killer blow as he scored from close range early into Wednesday’s game.
Liverpool hit back quickly through Joel Matip an eventually found a second-half winner through Sadio Mane’s header.
Mane expertly directed Luis Diaz’s fizzed cross into the net, controlling his header perfectly having been left unmarked inside the Villa box.
This continued Mane’s outstanding form having looked like a player reborn in 2022.
Whether that is just a carryover from the Africa Cup of Nations or a change in position, Mane looks superb right now.
The arrival of Diaz down the Liverpool left means Mane has been pressed into playing as a central striker for Liverpool.
That has been a masterstroke from Jurgen Klopp with Mane now hitting seven goals and one assist in his last 10 games across all competitions.
Mane may now be 30 but he isn’t slowing down and his impact in recent months has been truly outstanding.
Mane is earning praise from all corners right now and Liverpool captain Henderson has now chimed in with his thoughts.
Henderson told Sky Sports that he thinks Mane is ‘always incredible’ and that his form of late isn’t anything different.
Henderson praised Mane’s ability off the ball just as much as his ability inside the box, and hailed his work in the gym for giving him the neck muscles to score against Villa.
“His performance are always incredible,” said Henderson. “The amount of work he does for the team off the ball as well, defending there at the end, winning the ball back high up, his quality in and around the box, you see it with the finish – it’s all that gym you do, with the neck muscles to generate the power for the header, an incredible finish,” he added.
Mane’s contract ends in 2023 and Liverpool now have a decision to make with Barcelona keen.
Paying Mane big money well into his 30’s is a risk, but his form of late suggests that he isn’t going to slow down for a while yet – and he is becoming the driving force for Liverpool rather than Mohamed Salah right now.