Liverpool’s victory over Everton last weekend was an important win for the club but it came at a heavy price, as Sadio Mané suffered a knee injury in the second half.
Mané has been a key cog in Liverpool’s attacking prowess this season, one that has them with the most goals scored in the Premier League with 64 goals but it appears as though they will be without the star forward for some time, possibly the rest of the season.
Before leaving with an injury, Mané opened the scoring with an excellent individual effort that showed just how hard it is to keep up with the young star’s pace.
The Senegal international has been the best attacker for Liverpool this season with his speedy pace, creativity with ball and his direct style of play.
Liverpool have had a string of injuries recently with Adam Lallana injuring his thigh and Jordan Henderson suffering with a foot problem. With injuries piling up, it will be important for Klopp to try and find a solution to replace Mané’s productivity.
Mané had missed an extended period of the season in January when was playing for home country Senegal at AFCON. Over that stretch Liverpool struggled in the speedy forward’s absence.
Liverpool had its worst month of the season without Mané, suffering defeats to Wolves in the FA Cup and Southampton in the EFL Cup. With the prospect of missing their best attacker for the remainder of the season, the club will need everyone to step up their game.
If Liverpool are going to be able to overcome the loss of Mané it is crucial that Philippe Coutinho improves his game between now and the rest of the campaign.
Coutinho was back on top form after several matches working his way back from an ankle injury suffered earlier in the season. The Brazil international was an absolute force in the victory over Everton, though, scoring a beauty of a goal while also setting up the third with a great through ball for Origi to finish.
Coutinho only has seven goals in Premier League play this season but his playmaking ability is just as important. Coutinho possesses great vision and anticipation.
Liverpool only have eight matches remaining but every match will be important if the Reds want to lock down a top four finish and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Even though none of the opponent’s remaining for Liverpool are higher than eighth in the Premier League table, Klopp’s side has struggled against such opposition all season. None of the clubs’ five losses have come against top six clubs.
It was reported that Daniel Sturridge was back training with the club but the best move for the club will be to go with Divock Origi to replace Mané during his absence.
Origi came on for Mané after he came off injured and his impact was felt immediately as he scored the third in an important 3-1 Merseyside Derby win.
Though Sturridge has more experience than Origi, he has been battling injuries that have made it hard for him to nail down a place in Klopp’s starting XI. The striker has lost some of the speed that made him a feared attacker in the Premier League only a few seasons ago.
Origi also has shown that when given the opportunity, he can shine. Earlier this season, the Belgian scored in four consecutive matches to show that he can play an important role for Liverpool when called upon.
Klopp deciding to go with Origi will be the best decision to ensure Liverpool close out the season in the top four and in the process will let Origi gain some valuable experience going forward.