Popular BBC pundit Garth Crooks feels that Sadio Mane has been the best player for Liverpool this season.
Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk collected the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award, but Crooks believes Mane was better than any other Liverpool player this season.
The former Southampton forward scored twice on the final day and took his goal tally to 22 in the Premier League. The 27-year-old has been particularly superb during the second half of the season as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League, just one point behind Manchester City.
This has been a remarkable season for Liverpool. The Reds amassed 97 points, lost just one game in the entire season, and yet they couldn’t win the league.
However, the Reds still can end the season on a high if they win the Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid. Mane, who scored four Champions League goals this season, is expected to play a big role in the final for the Reds.
Well, it is hard to argue about who has been the best player for Liverpool. Mohamed Salah was far from his usual best and still he managed 22 goals and provided eight assists in the Premier League. There is Van Dijk as well. But, there is no doubt that Mane deserves to be among the nominees for Liverpool’s player of the season.
“This has not been an easy season for Liverpool because Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have either been injured or off the boil. Enter Sadio Mane. The Senegal striker has held the fort during his team-mates’ difficulties and kept them in contention,” said Crooks to BBC Sport.
If Liverpool win the Champions League final, and that is by no means a foregone conclusion, then Mane will have played a massive part in their success. Van Dijk may be the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year but for me Mane is Liverpool’s player of the season.”