Football fans would rather have Sadio Mane in their team than Mohamed Salah

Although the COVID-19 pandemic stepped in to prevent them from officially lifting the trophy, there is no denying that Liverpool have enjoyed a magnificent 2019/20 Premier League campaign.

We here at GiveMeSport posted a poll on our Facebook page on Sunday to find out which of the club’s chief attacking threats fans would pick first in a fantasy XI.

The options were straightforward: Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane? The result proved fairly one-sided!

The Merseyside club’s ascent to the top of the domestic pile has been gathering pace for several seasons now. Since manager Jurgen Klopp took the Anfield reigns in October 2015, Liverpool have looked an increasingly better side with each passing year. 

Whilst the club had a number of key performers during this period, the man that grabbed the majority of the headlines was Salah. After joining the Reds from Roma in June 2017, Salah notched an astonishing 32 goals in 36 league outings in his debut campaign, helping his side to a fourth-placed league finish in 2017/18.

Only the most optimistic of fans could have expected Salah to keep up that same scoring ratio the following season. It was, of course, not to be – although the Egyptian icon did still find the net 22 times in 38 appearances. Salah’s goal return has remained impressive in 2019/20, with 16 goals in 26 games.

However, Salah’s overall contributions to his side have dipped this term. The energy and verve present in his first two seasons at the club seemed to have waned – with some of his decision-making on the field being questionable.

For his part, Mane has almost kept pace with Salah when it comes to goals scored this term. The Senegalese superstar has scored 14 times this season (just two less than Salah in the same number of games), but has, in fact, scored more from open play – as Salah’s total includes three successfully converted penalties.

In a wider sense, as well, Mane has been a bigger general asset for Klopp this season than Salah. The sense of anticipation when Mane receives the ball in recent times has been palpable. Fans clearly have faith in Mane’s work on the left side of the pitch given his form this season. Mane also bests Salah in terms of his assists and passes completed during the current league campaign.

It is perhaps not unsurprising, then, that Mane ran out a clear winner of our poll, receiving 69% of the vote to Salah’s 31%.

This is not to say that Salah is not still an exceptional player. Although he has not performed at his previous best, Liverpool have hardly suffered for it – leading the league by an astonishing 25 points when action was suspended. Luckily for Klopp, he does not have to choose between Salah and Mane. When the league resumes, he has the luxury of both!

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