We haven’t seen the same electric and dominant Sadio Mane in 2020/21 and Liverpool’s No. 10 is one of the first to admit this season “is the worst” of his career.
It’s been a tough slog of a year for Mane and with 14 goals to his name across all competitions so far this season, he’s set to record his worst return since his debut campaign at Anfield.
He’s broken the 20-goal mark in the last three seasons but the culmination of Liverpool’s collective drop off and his individual knocks and battle with COVID-19 has ensured Mane has been a shadow of his former self.
Indecision has seen him misfire and fatigue after years of non-stop football are visibly taking their toll, and the noticeable drop-off is not lost on Mane as he has explored various avenues to find an answer to his form.
“If you ask me what is wrong I will struggle to give you an answer. Personally, I don’t know.
“I have always tried to be positive, whether things are going well or badly. I question myself all the time.
“I even underwent a test to take a look at my body. Am I eating the right foods, or has everything changed? But they checked the test results, and everything is fine.
“I need to understand that in life there are ups and downs.
“I will keep on working hard – and perhaps in time this situation will pass.”
The 29-year-old is a key pillar in Jurgen Klopp‘s side and he will remain so in the final push for top-four this season, where the Reds currently sit six points adrift with a game in hand.
But a reset may be just what is needed, and that Mane is to be handed his first summer break since 2017 will come as a welcome change of pace for a player who has played seemingly non-stop football for four years.