21 July 2017

How Nations Cup January timing affected Sadio Mane and Liverpool this year

The timing of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations affected Sadio Mane and Liverpool this year. 

Liverpool were so keen for Sadio Mane to return from this year’s Africa Cup of Nations they arranged for a private jet to fly the Senegal striker back.

Mane was away for four weeks before he missed the crucial spot-kick as Senegal lost to eventual champions Cameroon on penalties in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool won only one game from eight while he was away on international duty following a 2-2 draw at Sunderland on 2 January.

They were knocked out of the EFL Cup by Mane’s former club Southampton, then eliminated from the FA Cup by Championship side Wolves.

The scheduling switch has been welcomed by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, particularly after the club signed Egypt winger Mohamed Salah from Rome in a £34m deal this summer.

“It’s fantastic. When we signed Mo Salah, I was already thinking ‘Oh my God in one-and-a-half years we lose both in the winter’, but that’s not happening now so that gives us two more players in winter time. That’s very good,” said Klopp on Friday during the club’s pre-season tour in Hong Kong.


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