By Matt Farr

Sky Sports pundit Neil Mellor has described current Reds goalscorer Sadio Mane as one of the most explosive players in the Premier league.

Mane has contributed eight goals and seven assists from just 18 games in all competitions this season, and scored the winner in the Merseyside derby clash with Everton on Monday.

He moved to Anfield from Southampton in the summer from £34 million, and he has certainly lived up to billing, becoming one of Liverpool’s most valuable assets.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, former Liverpool striker Mellor expressed his delight at Mane’s late winner against Everton, praising the impact he has had since his arrival.

“It was a moment to savour, and Sadio Mane’s goal showed exactly what he’s all about,” he said.

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“In the Premier League, he is one of the most explosive players over five yards. People call him quick but I see him more explosive, with his sharpness something that really makes him stand out.

“No one had a clue where that ball would go [against Everton] but he was on his toes, darted towards it and anticipated the rebound.

“All credit to him. He made a big-money move over the summer and has found that consistency you would expect from such an expensive signing.”

Mane has been an integral part of a Liverpool attack that has scored 41 goals in the Premier League this season, the most of any side in the top-flight.

Liverpool, however, are set to be without Mane for up to six weeks as he is set to join up with the Senegal national side for the African Cup of Nations in Gabon next month.

The tournament begins on 14 January, and runs until 5 February, meaning Mane will miss league games against Manchester United and Chelsea, and a League Cup semi-final against Southampton.

The Reds are currently second in the league behind Chelsea, having won 11 of their 17 games since the start of the campaign.

In other Liverpool news, manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed his strategy ahead of the January transfer window.