Liverpool have made plans to cater for the absence of summer signing and Senegalese star Sadio Mane with the former Red Bull Salzburg and Southampton player scheduled to miss a month of action due to his involvement with his country in the upcoming 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Mane, who is the Reds’ top scorer with eight league goals, will however still feature for the next three games against Stoke City, Manchester City and Sunderland before he will depart for the aforementioned 2017 AFCON.
Speaking about Mane’s absence and the plan to replace him, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “He’s a winger, so a very offensive player, outstanding player, very good, can play in the half-space, can do everything.”
“If we had five other wingers to replace him already, then we cannot have the team we have in this moment, with the atmosphere we have in this moment, where everybody feels he is really important.
“You cannot have everything, so we decided to do this. Sadio’s away and we have to find solutions. They can be, under very specific circumstances, in the transfer market but, if not, then they are in the squad.
“We have been a little bit unlucky with injuries in the wrong moments, but we still can play different systems and a lot of our players are really versatile and that’s what we have to use.
“For this, the players need to be open and I’m sure they are open for this.
It’s another sign for a kind of confidence: if you think the only system we can play is this system, that’s not like it is, but we need to really show this.” he concluded.