Sadio Mane reveals his Premier League idol

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Sadio Mane has certainly justified why Liverpool were prepared to pay over £30 million for his services last summer with the way his Anfield career has started.

A tally of six goals already only tells half the story. In Jurgen Klopp's high pressing system, Mane's extra pace has proven crucial in unsettling their opponents in possession and he is one of the first names on the team sheet right now.

The burden of such a heavy price tag can sometimes affect how quickly a player settles into his new surroundings but not Mane, who is a real fan favourite.

Nevertheless, there will be a lot of Liverpool supporters unhappy with his latest comments, where he has been discussing some of his major influences.

Growing up in Senegal, the riches of the Premier League must have felt a million miles away for Mane, but he says another compatriot who made a career in the English top flight motivated his meteoric rise.

In a short clip that the Premier League's official account tweeted on Monday, Mane probably thought he was being smart by picking another ex-Liverpool player as his Premier League idol.

But when this former Red is El-Hadji Diouf, the fallout is very unlikely to be positive.

"When I was young I was watching El-Hadji Diouf as he was one of my heroes," Mane said.

"He also played for Liverpool and he was a big motivation because he was a great player for [Senegal].

"He was one of the best players ever in Senegal."

Now there might be an element of truth behind Mane's last statement but he is probably the only person in Merseyside who can speak so positively of Diouf.

After arriving in England in 2002, the forward was generally judged as a flop for his poor goalscoring record.

Diouf scored just six times from 80 appearances and it wasn't long before he was shipped out to Bolton, where he enjoyed a much more productive spell.

As well as being considered a disappointing signing, his more recent public spats with club heroes Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher haven't exactly won him any more fans.

The 35-year-old reacted negatively to comments Gerrard made about him in the ex-England captain's autobiography and his response was brutal.

As per the Liverpool Echo, Diouf said: “The difference between Jamie and me is that I am a world-class player and he is a s***

"The type of s**t that writes a book and mentions me all the time. Me, in my book, he does not warrant one phrase: he's a f*****g loser.

"What I represented for Senegal, [Gerrard] never managed 100th of that for England. He has never done anything in the World Cup or the Euros.

"When I arrived at Liverpool, seeing as I just did what I wanted, he thought that I did not respect the club. But he downright killed his team by slipping against Chelsea.

"If Liverpool has never won the Premier League, it's no accident. What goes around, comes around."

We're guessing Mane was unaware of these comments. Either that or he is one of bravest footballers known to man by declaring his admiration for a sworn enemy of his club.

Mane must now be hoping his current form extends into the Christmas period and the fans can overlook his choice of idol.

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Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Jamie Carragher
El-Hadji Diouf

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