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Jurgen Klopp admits Sadio Mane is in a slump, but “there is no physical problem”

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Jurgen Klopp accepts that Sadio Mane‘s output in front of goal is “not great,” but has suggested it is a mental problem, rather than a physical one, for the Liverpool striker.

Mane appears to be suffering more than most within Klopp’s squad at present, with the No. 10 toiling to no avail during the 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in midweek.

The 28-year-old has barely had a break since the summer of 2017, bar the strange circumstances of last year’s lockdown, having played at the World Cup in 2018 and the Africa Cup of Nations the following summer.

Now, during a ridiculously congested campaign, only Gini Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson have played more minutes for Liverpool than Mane, who looks to now be struggling with fatigue.

That is most easily highlighted by his recent lack of goals, having scored just three in his last 15 outings, but more widely his performances look to be suffering overall.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa, Klopp was asked whether he had any concerns about Mane’s form.

“We all know how good Sadio Mane is, what a player he is and what he did for us,” the manager replied.

“But obviously the numbers, scoring-wise, now obviously are not great in the moment. He knows that.

“A player with the mindset of Sadio, he wants to do it extremely well, then, in these moments, and that’s the situation he’s in.

“Each striker in the world knows these kinds of situations. I’m not concerned, but I see it as well. That’s clear, we work on it. That’s the only answer I can give.”

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, March 15, 2021: Liverpool's James Milner (L) and Sadio Mané after the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by Propaganda)

Klopp expanded on the amount of football Mane has played over the past three years, but insisted that “there is no physical problem for Sadio,” instead attributing his lack of goals to a mental block.

“The schedule for the last three years was, for a lot of players in world football, a tough one,” he continued.

“For him as well, that’s true, but I don’t think that’s the reason. There is no physical problem for Sadio, not a real one.

“We all need breaks from time to time, that’s clear, but it’s not a general problem or whatever.

“It’s just a situation. If you don’t score for a while, then strikers start thinking.

“There’s a moment where you start thinking exactly the right things again and then it will be fine again. We have to make sure that this time is not too far away.”

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