By Harry Sykes
Thierry Henry has raved about “killer” Sadio Mane ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League showdown against Arsenal on Sunday.
Writing in the Sun, the Arsenal legend explained why he is such a huge admirer of the Anfield forward and how he is the biggest threat to the Gunners in the 4pm kick-off.
Mane, 25, has begun the season in explosive form, just as he did following his arrival at Liverpool 12 months ago when he destroyed Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in a 4-3 win for the visitors on the opening day of the campaign.
“Sadio is one of the most efficient players in the Premier League right now and there will be no messing around from him against Arsenal on Sunday,” said Henry.
“The Liverpool winger is a proper footballer with an attitude to admire. And it’s refreshing to see a guy who understands the game so well.
“He is a direct player who knows his job is to kill the opposition. There are no step-overs or unnecessary extra touches.
“He gets the ball and he runs at full speed. He is honest, plays with all his heart and always works hard to hurt the other team.
“Two backheels Mane pulled off against Hoffenheim the other night took the entire defence with him and freed acres of space for a team-mate.”
The Senegal international had a memorable debut campaign at Liverpool after signing from Southampton for £35million, scoring 13 goals and supplying eight assists from 29 matches before a knee injury brought a premature end to his campaign.
Mane has followed that up by scoring two goals in Liverpool’s opening two league matches of 2017-18 as well as being pivotal to the team’s Champions League play-off win against Hoffenheim.
In the absence of Philippe Coutinho, the wide forward has become the key member of a dazzling front three that could unhinge top defences this season.
“He was having a Player of the Year campaign last season until he suffered a serious knee injury and I’m surprised how quickly he has recovered from that,” added Henry.
In other Liverpool news, Leeds are overwhelming favourites to sign an Anfield first-team player by next Thursday.