Sadio Mane celebrates ((Mike Egerton/PA))

Sadio Mane’s world-class season finally gets recognition as PFA Fans’ Player of the Year

Sadio Mane produced a world-class season as Liverpool surged to the Premier League title, and this has now been recognised with the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year award.

Mane scored 22 goals and assisted a further 12 in 47 games for the Reds in all competitions last season, with 18 goals and nine assists coming in 35 league games.

Only Mohamed Salah tallied more goals and assists than the Senegalese, with 23 and 13 in 48 outings, but in terms of overall performance, it was Mane who stood out more over the course of the campaign.

He was tied with Salah and Roberto Firmino for the most match-winning goals in the league (seven), with only Man City‘s Gabriel Jesus and Wolves‘ Raul Jimenez (both eight) tallying more.

Nominated alongside Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold for the Premier League‘s Player of the Season award, Mane lost out to City’s Kevin De Bruyne, while Henderson took the prize from the Football Writers’ Association.

The captain was also voted Liverpool’s Player of the Season, following his invaluable contribution both on and off the pitch, and is a front-runner for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

While it seemed as though Mane’s world-class efforts as the driving force of the Reds’ title charge would go without any individual accolades, the No. 10 has now been voted the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 17, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mane picked up the prize ahead of Alexander-Arnold, De Bruyne, Virgil van Dijk, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy, with 41 percent of the vote.

De Bruyne was second, with 27 percent, while Alexander-Arnold was third, with 17 percent; the sheer level of consistency with which Van Dijk performs saw him overlooked for the top three.

It is a deserved award for Mane, and he becomes the fifth Liverpool player to win since its inception in 2001.

Steven Gerrard was the inaugural PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, before picking it up again in 2009, with Raul Meireles (2011), Luis Suarez (2014) and Salah (2018) also winning over the years.

Given it was a supporters’ vote, this serves as an acknowledgement of Mane’s popularity at Anfield, and the desire to reward his form beyond a Premier League winner’s medal.