Like he does every time he steps on the pitch, Sadio Mane is out in front of everyone else in the Premier League.
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Should the Senegal star, who was crowned the CAF (African Football Confederation) Player of the Year on Tuesday, be crowned the best player in the Premier League this season?
During the 2019-20 campaign he has taken his game to the next level. He has always had pace, trickery and the ability to create chances for himself and his teammates but he has now added consistent end product to his game.
Mane, 27, leads Liverpool with 15 goals in all competitions and he has 11 in the Premier League. His personal best for goals in a season is 26, which was last season, and he’s set to smash that in 2019-20. But it’s not just the fact that Mane is scoring more goals and is more clinical. It’s the fact that he is delivering when his team needs him most.
During his time at Southampton and his early days at Liverpool, Mane was labelled as being inconsistent. Unstoppable one game, ineffective the next.
This season he’s scored key goals in one-goal wins against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Wolves. Mane has overtaken his strike partners Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in terms of his importance to the team and is helping Liverpool turn tight games from draws to wins.
His main contenders to be crowned the PL’s player of the season are Kevin de Bruyne, Jamie Vardy and his own teammates Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold (who will probably win the Young Player of the Year). With the award usually given to a player from a the title-winning team, Mane, VVD and TAA are the smart money picks to pick up the major gong in May.
Mane is the clear favorite and unless he has a huge drop off in form in the second half of the season, we should get used to seeing him in a tux and posing for photos with individual awards.
He’s finally getting the plaudits his incredible play deserves.