By Dominic Toner

Phil Thompson believes that Sadio Mane is such an asset for Liverpool he will be the decisive player in their showdown against Manchester United.

The Reds host great rivals United on Monday in the Premier League and have already beaten the likes of Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea this season.

The Merseyside club have been in great attacking form, scoring 18 goals in just seven league games.

Mane, 24, has been at the heart of Liverpool’s good start and has settled very quickly at Anfield.

Sky Sports pundit and Liverpool great Thompson feels that Mane will be the deciding factor in the game and his blistering pace will help the club record a 2-1 victory.

“I think the big one is going to be Mane, mainly because of his pace against Manchester United’s back line,” Thompson told Sky Sports. “He’s the one player really that I think can exploit them.

“Marcus Rashford is obviously quick and has tremendous potential but I think with Mane’s experience against United’s back line he will cause them tremendous problems, when there’s a turnover of position is when he really comes into his own.”

Mane moved to Anfield in the summer and has started on fire, scoring three goals and supplying three assists in seven appearances.

Manager Jurgen Klopp decided to move for Mane in the transfer window and he became the latest player to leave Southampton for the Reds.

The Senegalese international enjoyed a successful spell at Southampton, scoring 25 goals and supplying 14 assists in just 75 appearances.

He is expected to line up against United on Monday for the highly anticipated clash and will be looking to demonstrate his remarkable turn of pace.

In other Liverpool news, a reliable journalist claims that Steven Gerrard has returned to Merseyside.