Sadio Mane has stepped up his game since joining Liverpool from Southampton in a £30 million deal in June, as statistics show.
Mane was Jurgen Klopp‘s most high-profile and most expensive signing of the summer, but arrived on Merseyside with concerns over his lack of consistency in previous seasons.
However, the 24-year-old has started to life at Liverpool in excellent form, and is the Reds’ leading goalscorer in the Premier League, with six goals in just 10 games.
This is just five off his tally for Southampton in 2015/16, with this just one of many improvements Mane has made so far this season, according to statistics from Oulala.
Mane has averaged more successful passes (31) and chances created (1.6) per game, highlighting his heightened involvement in his side’s buildup play this season.
However, so far Mane has averaged more minutes per assist (435), though the difference from last season (433) is marginal.
His success rate in front of goal is vastly improved, hitting the target 67 percent of the time, and converting 25 percent of his chances, with six goals a clear indicator of his impact.
He is also proving a more troublesome prospect for defenders, averaging more take-ons per game (2.9), as well as drawing more fouls per game (2.7), with his willingness to drive at defences key to Liverpool’s success in the final third.
Overall, Mane is a more efficient forward under Klopp, averaging a goal or assist every 109 minutes in the Premier League so far this season; though, of course, the sample size is much smaller.
This magnifies the importance of navigating his impending departure to the Africa Cup of Nations in January, with Klopp now tasked with finding an alternative to the Senegalese.
Given the depth in his squad, this should be relatively simple, but Mane’s form cannot be overlooked.