Mane deserves place in Premier League elite – Wijnaldum

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum believes team-mate Sadio Mane deserves to be in the same bracket as the Premier League’s top strikers.

The Senegal international scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season in the 3-1 win over Bayern Munich which put the Reds into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

That tally puts him only one behind Mohamed Salah. In terms of Premier League goals the diminuitive forward, who plays out wide and not through the middle, has 16 in 29 matches – just two behind leading scorer Sergio Aguero.

Mane has 10 goals in as many games in all competitions – including three doubles – and is enjoying his best goalscoring return in his five seasons in English football.

And that is why he has to be mentioned alongside the City striker and his in-form team-mate Raheem Sterling, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, and Salah.

“He is really good. The games tell you that, he is really important with his goals and assists. A good season, his best with us,” said the Holland international.

“They (media) do not speak about him? I think the other players have shown they get the headlines but Sadio also.

“He has had a big influence on winning games. Mo did not score (against Bayern) but had a good game.

“People speak about the player who had two goals. A lot of players do the work and make the difference.

“You have to speak about everyone. For me, Sadio is up there with those players you named.”

Wijnaldum is the most senior, established player yet to be rewarded with a new contract after the likes of Salah, Mane, Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson all got new deals in the last 12 months.

However, with the club still fighting on two fronts it is an issue the Dutchman, who still has more than two years remaining, is not concerned about.

Especially as a new contract will, in all probability, most be sorted over the summer ahead of next season.

“No. I did not speak with the club yet,” he said.

“(Is it) a problem between me and the club? I am not a person who has problems. That (contract) is something for the club. I will see what happens.

“I signed a five-year contract (in the summer of 2017) and I am still under contract.

“I just do my job to perform. A new contract has to come from the club.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has full faith in Mohamed Salah

Xherdan Shaqiri withdraws from Switzerland squad with groin injury

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold embracing title race

Klopp hails ‘sensational result’ after Liverpool scrape past Fulham

More in this Section

Friend hails Carty's late score as Connacht sealed bonus point win over Benetton

Deschamps satisfied as France make convincing start to qualifying campaign

Southgate: Sterling now one of England’s leaders

Clifford back in Kerry’s starting line-up


Lifestyle

Wish List: Eight great Irish buys for your home

Seven beauty tricks to update your look for spring

The lost world: Why breathtaking Malta should be your next holiday stop

Ring leader: Why boxing is good for the body and mind

More From The Irish Examiner