Senegalese Generation Foot co-founder Mady Toure has claimed that Senegalese forward Sadio Mane should be mentioned in the same breath as Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Toure, who started the academy fourteen years ago has told the Guardian that whilst it might be Messi and Neymar who are in the limelight currently, he feels Mane should be held in the same esteem as Barcelona's South American duo.
"Today we talk about Messi and Neymar but honestly I don’t think these players are as good as Sadio Mané." he said.
“But I don’t think his development is finished yet. Sadio still has a long way to go before reaching his peak. Now he needs a really good coach to take him to the new level because his possibilities are enormous.”
Big club interest
Mane, who took the record for most expensive Senegalese player from El Hadji Diouf when Southampton paid £11.8million for his services this summer, also had interest from some of the top European club's before the asking price put them off.
“There were lots of clubs interested but Red Bull were asking for €15m and that created a small problem,” Toure confirmed.
“Sadio refused to play because he wanted to leave and that’s when Southampton came in. It’s a great opportunity for him to show what he can do and I can assure you he will be a revelation in the Premier League."
Potential for stardom
His 45 goals and 32 assists for Red Bull Salzburg in 87 matches led to Southampton identifying the winger as a key transfer target for new boss Ronald Koeman, especially with Jay Rodriguez out injured for the first few months of the season.
But Toure also touts the man he considers a son for the very top of the game and wouldn't be surprised if he didn't spend too long on the South coast before moving on to bigger and better things.
“...I’m sure he will not spend too long at Southampton because there are lots of clubs in Europe who would like to buy him. When Sadio went to Metz, I said he wouldn’t spend very long with them and it was the same when he went to Red Bull. He has the talent to play in the Champions League.” he proclaimed.