3 things Klopp’s Liverpool must improve ahead of the run in

Their over-reliance on Mane

At the start of the campaign, many were unsure about the £34 million the club had spent on Southampton’s Sadio Mane, as it was a mighty price-tag for someone who’d only been in English football for two seasons.

However, it’s clear that, during Philippe Coutinho’s spell on the sidelines, as well as Mane’s time away from the side during the African Cup of Nations, the 24-year-old Senegalese international is the one that makes the Reds tick.

It was he who helped keep things going upfront during Coutinho’s absence in December, netting twice as well as laying on two assists, and it was he that got the winning goal in the derby against Everton on December 19.

And during his time away on international duty last month, Klopp’s men played seven games in all competitions, and won only one of them – an unconvincing 1-0 success at Plymouth in an FA Cup replay.

It wasn’t just his goals that they missed – it was his energy and enthusiasm, his desire to get at defenders and get into the box, and the way he lifts everyone around him, especially as Roberto Firmino and Coutinho himself were far from their best while Mane was away.

It’s no surprise that it was Mane who bagged both goals against Tottenham the other week, his first home start since returning from the AFCON, but they can’t just rely on him to lift everyone when things are tough, others must stand up as well, otherwise the Reds may struggle to finish in the top four.

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