Eyebrows were raised when Liverpool splashed out a cool £34 million to bring Sadio Mane to Anfield from Southampton in June 2016.
The Senegalese forward had shown that he was a good player during his two seasons with the Saints, scoring 25 goals in 75 games, but not everybody was convinced that he was capable of playing for one of the Premier League’s top clubs.
Just over three years later, though, and Mane has proved his doubters spectacularly wrong. The 27-year-old is now widely regarded as one of the best attacking wingers in European football and deservedly so.
Mane has scored 66 goals in 133 games for the Reds, winning the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup in the process.
He is currently part of one of the best forward lines we’ve ever seen in the Premier League, alongside Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, and appears to be continuously improving as a player.
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In 10 games this season, Mane has netted seven goals - with his latest coming against his former club Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday night.
Mane’s latest goal prompted Cesc Fabregas to drop a tweet which has now gone viral.
“Mané for me is top 3 players in the world and has been for a while,” the AS Monaco midfielder tweeted. “Top top level.”
At the time of writing, Fabregas’s post has been retweeted almost 9,000 times and ‘liked’ over 37,000 times, which suggests many football fans agree.
One person who definitely agrees is Barcelona legend Lionel Messi, who recently voted Mane in first place for The Best Men’s Player award.
Mane finished fifth in the voting behind Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo, Virgil van Dijk and Messi himself.
But on current form, he probably is top three in the world.
It goes without saying that not everybody agrees with Fabregas, who was told by one Chelsea fan: “Cesc this is a really rare L from you I’m afraid.”
But the Spaniard refused to back down, replying: “Believe me he’s amazing. I’d love to play behind him.”
When players like Messi and Fabregas are calling you world-class, you know it’s true.News Now - Sport News