Klopp Backs Mane, Salah Conte Fires ‘Warning Shot’ Striker In Fire Cracker Accident …For AITEO CAF Awards
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane will fly to Ghana 24 hours before Friday’s FA Cup Merseyside derby against Everton with manager Jurgen Klopp’s full support.
The Senegal international will travel with Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah as both are on the shortlist for the Confederation of African Football’s player of the year award.
However, with an injury, Salah, a doubt for the game, as is Philippe Coutinho, the importance of Mane has become greater in the short term than that of new £75 million signing Virgil van Dijk, and it was highlighted in the 2-1 win at Burnley.
Mane scored a brilliant opener — only his second Premier League strike since August — and may have to play a key role against Everton, but Klopp will not prevent him from travelling to Africa.
“Sadio is unbelievably important for us,” Klopp said. “He is strong, quick, so many things. He scores a goal like this and it is like, ‘Wow.’
“We have everything organised. We have two of the three best African players in our squad. We have to show them respect.
“If it had been a matchday, they wouldn’t have asked. We sleep in a hotel, they sleep in a plane. That is all the difference.
“If Mo is not fit, it will not be for that [travelling]. For our side, it is just a sign of respect. I had [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang [at Borussia Dortmund] and there is nothing more important than to go there.”