By Guy Giles
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted there is concern surrounding Sadio Mane after the Senegalese winger was sent back early from international duty after ‘slightly feeling’ his old hamstring injury.
A statement on Monday from the Senegalese Football Federation confirmed that Mane was to be released back to his club early after a recurrence of his injury, with the Lions of Teranga now qualified for next year’s World Cup.
Mane played 90 minutes and provided an assist as Senegal confirmed their qualification with a 2-0 win over South Africa, but the win has come at a cost for the player and Liverpool.
Now, Klopp has spoken out about the news. He told Liverpool’s official website: “Obviously it is a concern that the hamstring injury is again on the agenda and it will be critical for us to monitor and manage that in the coming days.
“At this stage we haven’t seen Sadio yet to properly assess the extent, but what is clear is that we will have to stay on top of this for the rest of the week and make sure we are careful in how we look after him.”
Klopp was however quick to allay concerns that Senegal had risked Mane unnecessarily, stating that he recognises his importance to Senegal and the pride which the player takes in playing for his country.
He said: “We respect how important he is for Senegal and therefore it must always be the case that they get to make the decision when he is under their care.
“It should not be forgotten in Liverpool, either, how important it is to Sadio that he represents his country whenever he is fit enough to do so.”
Mane has been a key figure for the Reds since he joined from Southampton last summer, scoring 16 goals and laying on 12 assists in his 39 appearances for the Anfield club.
In other Liverpool news, this 23-year-old has admitted he is unhappy with his role at the club.