By Amir Mir

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane believes he owes a huge debt of gratitude towards his former manager Roger Schmidt for helping him grow into the player he is today.

Forward Mane was signed by German Schmidt for Red Bull Salzburg in 2012, after a spell with Ligue 1 outfit Metz.

The 24-year-old ubsequently made a move to Southampton in the Premier League, before signing for Liverpool during the summer for a fee of around £34million.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is a big admirer in Mane’s high intensity and direct play and he has established himself as a key player in the team.

However, the Senegal international has revealed why his fellow German counterpart Schmidt played the real impact on his career.

“He’s at Bayer Leverkusen now,” Mane told the Liverpool Echo. “He was a big influence on my career thanks to the way he believed in me and helped me so much.

“I was still young when I went to Salzburg and working under him really helped me to grow up and grow up as a player. I learned about tactics and different ways to play the game.”

During his time with Salzburg, Mane scored an impressive 45 goals in 87 games, including providing 32 assists.

Mane is now one of the most feared players in England’s top division, having scored three goals and supplied three assists this term.

The Merseyside club are fourth with 16 points from seven games, as they welcome bitter rivals Manchester United to Anfield on Monday night.

In other Liverpool team news, supporters were shocked as Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard was starting for England again.