New Liverpool signing Sadio Mane will miss four matches for the Reds next season, because of international commitments with Senegal.
The 24-year-old joined the Reds on Tuesday afternoon, in a deal worth a reported £30 million. He will wear the No.19 jersey at Anfield.
Mane has become Jurgen Klopp‘s fourth permanent signing since he became Liverpool manager last October, joining Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and Loris Karius in the squad ahead of pre-season, which starts on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the forward will be missing for the Reds for a chunk of January and February, due to the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Mane would miss a quartet of Premier League clashes – away to Man United (14th January) and Hull City (4th February), as well the home fixtures against Swansea (21st January) and Chelsea (1st February).
He would also not be available for the FA Cup fourth round and both legs of the League Cup semi-final, should Liverpool still be in both competitions at that point.
It is always a downside of signing African players – it has the potential to disrupt both the team’s progress and the individual’s once he returns.
There are slight doubts over whether Matip will also be missing, with the Cameroon international currently at loggerheads with manager Hugo Broos.
Broos claimed the centrte-back was “not motivated” for two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers earlier this year, and their rift is yet to be settled.
The tournament runs from 14th January to 5th February.