Liverpool are about to see Sadio Mané benefit again as Jürgen Klopp boost set to renew

Liverpool are about to see Sadio Mané benefit again as Jürgen Klopp boost set to renew

Updated: 4 months, 4 days, 23 hours, 27 minutes, 28 seconds ago

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There is no doubt that Jürgen Klopp would prefer to have the entire squad at his disposal during this unfamiliar break from club football.

Liverpool’s upcoming warm weather training camp in Dubai offers a chance to reset after what has been a difficult start to a campaign that began with high hopes.

Yet the Reds boss must oversee that process without a number of his star men available as they represent their countries at the World Cup.

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Of course, as a renowned optimist, Klopp will most likely see the potential upsides of sending his players to a mid-season international tournament.

Perhaps, though, that should be expected given they were spelled out to him so emphatically by Sadio Mané last term.

It is easily forgotten that the Senegalese was facing serious scrutiny prior to him heading to the Africa Cup of Nations back in January.

Mané may have netted in his final appearance before the competition started — a 2-2 draw at Chelsea — but that marked his only goal across a run of 10 games prior to departing.

And so questions were being asked over whether he might even be in Liverpool’s best team upon his return to England.

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Fortunately, the winger managed to rediscover his golden touch in Cameroon, scoring three goals as Senegal went on to lift the trophy.

In fact, the extra boost of netting the winning penalty in the final victory over Egypt seemed to propel him to new heights in those final months of the season.

Mané went on to end the campaign with a run of nine goals in 14 games as Liverpool came within a whisker of claiming an unprecedented quadruple

Consequently, Klopp will hope that a similar post-tournament transformation is possible for several of his players in the second half of this season.

Fabinho is arguably the number one candidate for such a return to form, having notably struggled to show his best over the opening months of this 2022-23.

Virgil van Dijk, too, could be helped by fulfilling his dream of representing the Netherlands on the biggest stage after a mixed start to the season.

It is worth noting that the World Cup could also help reinforce the positives for players who head to Qatar in fine form.

Take for example Alisson Becker, who has a chance to return to Anfield as both the undisputed best goalkeeper on the planet and a world champion.

And what of Darwin Núñez? He can cement his reputation as an elite-level striker after finding his feet at a new club in a new league with admirable alacrity.

In his final press conference prior to the break, Klopp remarked that he hoped better luck on the injury front might aid Liverpool’s pursuit of improvement in the second half of the season.

But Mané is proof that a mental boost can be just as effective as a physical one in turning things around for both club and player.