“Happy to be back” – Sadio Mane raring to go ahead of 2017/18 season

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Sadio Mane is delighted to be fit again after injury ended his first season at Liverpool early, and now he looks to kick on in 2017/18.

Mane enjoyed a fantastic start to life on Merseyside, winning the Reds’ Player of the Year award, scoring 13 times in 29 appearances.

His absence was felt hugely when he left for Africa Cup of Nations duty in January, though, while a knee injury against Everton on April 1 ended his season prematurely.

Fortunately, Mane is now back fit and raring to go, admitting more goals and winning trophies are high up on his list of priorities.

“I’m very happy to be back. It was not easy to be off the pitch for three months. Finally, I’m back and I’m happy to be back. I’m looking forward to the season,” Mane told Liverpoolfc.com.

“I’m a professional and every football player would like to play each week. I want to always help my teammates on the pitch and help my club to get better.

“[I want] to score more goals for my team and to assist as well. Why not win trophies with the team? I’m very confident and looking forward to it.

“There are still some things to work on. That’s why I’m training all the time. It will come. I’m not 100 per cent fit but it’s pre-season so I’m OK with that. It will come.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 1, 2017: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the first goal against Everton during the FA Premier League match, the 228th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mane also spoke briefly about the impact of new signing Mohamed Salah, with the 25-year-old admitting it won’t be an issue if he is forced to switch sides to accommodate the Egyptian.

“Everybody has seen how he’s quicker than everyone on the pitch,” he added.

“He’s a nice lad and a great player.

“I am able to play every forward position. I don’t have a problem with that. I have played left wing, right wing and striker – it’s no problem for me.”

While much talk at the moment surrounds the future of Philippe Coutinho and his importance to Liverpool, no player was more influential last season than Mane.

His speed, movement and finishing made him one of the most effective attackers in the Premier League, and the Reds looked a far less potent side without him.

Having him back fit is huge for Jurgen Klopp – we will hopefully get to see him in full flow in the upcoming Audi Cup matches against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid or Napoli.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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