Liverpool hit by 'huge' blow Klopp will 'hate' after Mane update on Instagram - pundit
Noel Whelan has claimed Jurgen Klopp will “hate” the fact Liverpool are set to be without Sadio Mane due to the African Cup of Nations.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 29-year-old is a “huge player” for the Reds after returning to goalscoring form against Chelsea.
Mane took to Instagram on Monday (3 January) to post a picture of him and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy jetting off to represent Senegal at the African Cup of Nations.
Mane scored past the shot-stopper in Sunday’s 2-2 draw to end a seven-game goalless streak.
Whelan suggested the forward’s confidence would by “sky high” after his goal.
As such, he insisted Klopp would be loathed to lose a player of his quality for Liverpool’s upcoming games.
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“If I was Liverpool manager, I’d be hating the fact that they’re going,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’s tradition. They go out there and they play, no difference to the South American cup.
“But at the same time, to lose a player of that stature, you know he can change the game. He scored the goal, he’s back on those winning ways again and that confidence is sky-high.
“To lose players like that when you’re 11 points behind Manchester City, who don’t seem to know how to lose at the minute, you want your better players there.
“They’re going to miss two, if not three, huge players in that team. That could make a difference in them fighting for that championship.”
Mane scored seven goals in his opening 12 Premier League appearances this season.
He has started all but one of the Reds’ top-flight games this term.