When Liverpool first signed Sadio Mane for over £30m, some fans questioned whether the club had overspent.
But less than halfway through his debut season and the player is already looking like an essential part of Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The Senegalese powerhouse has scored six goals and provided two assists in performances that have helped Liverpool secure their place at the top of the Premier League table.
And according to the player, playing with superior team-mates is the key to his success.
“It is fantastic to play with these great players,” said Mane, speaking to the Liverpool Echo.
“I am always pushing myself to train hard every day and give my best for my team.
“Why have I settled so quickly here? That’s a good question.
“I want to thank everyone – my team-mates and the coach as well – for helping me to settle.
“I think that helped me to adapt quickly. I’m happy about that. I always try to improve.
“Firmino and Coutinho are great players so it is easy for me to adapt to play with them. We’ve been playing together for three or four months now.
“But it’s not only about the front three. I think it is about the performance of the whole team and that was great against Watford.”
Having played at Metz and Red Bull Salzburg before moving to Southampton, Mane’s CV was nothing too impressive before signing for the Reds. Unlike some who find the step up takes time to adjust to though, Mane has taken to a higher level of football like a duck to water.
January sees the player feature for his country in the African Cup of Nations, and it is clear he will be a big miss. Fortunately though this is Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, which unlike previous sides appears a lot more capable of dealing with a key player missing.
In Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana it would appear the Reds have cover for the big man whilst he’s missing, but for sure there will be many hoping Senegal see an early exit from AFCON!