Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has been the outstanding signing of the summer and is outperforming the world's most expensive player Paul Pogba, according to former midfielder Phil Thompson. The Senegal international has scored three goals in seven appearances in all competitions for the Reds this season since his much-questioned move from Southampton.
Mane swapped St Mary's for Anfield in a deal worth an eye-boggling £32m, according to BBC Sport, but has more than justified the price-tag with a string of impressive displays. The 24-year-old struck on his debut for the Merseysiders against Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium, before a goal and an assist followed on his home bow against Leicester City.
The former Red Bull Salzburg and FC Metz player netted again in Liverpool's destruction of Hull City before the international break, while two further assists came against Burton Albion in the English Football League Cup. While the likes of Paul Pogba, who moved to Manchester United for £89m, have struggled to adapt to their new surroundings Mane has flourished and Thompson believes the France international has been left for dust this term.
"If you're looking at a player who has transformed a side and injected what they needed then it's Sadio Mane," he told Sky Sports. "People talk about this Liverpool team suddenly challenging for the title but what's the difference really been? I think it's all about Mane and the pace he has injected.
"It is the one thing this Liverpool team lacked. Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana have all been great but they were all there last year and he's brought the best out of them. His pace to drag defenders back allows these players play and I think he's had a massive impact. In a footballing sense, this guy does everything at 100 miles per hour. He destroyed Arsenal in that second half and all of us said he was overpriced but he's looking like a snip at a fraction of Paul Pogba's price."