The Liverpool Echo has revealed that Sadio Mane will have a shorter winter break than the majority of the first-team squad, just like James Milner.
It was already clear that Milner was still in Liverpool, as he was present at the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury at Anfield.
However, the newspaper has revealed that the Senegal international has stayed at Melwood to continue his rehabilitation following the injury he sustained against Wolves in January.
In a perfect world, both Milner and Mane would have jetted off on their holidays at the same time as the rest of the squad. After all, by deciding to respect the winter break and leave Neil Critchley and the club’s U23s to take charge of that match against Salop, Jurgen Klopp had made his intentions pretty clear.
However, those struggling with injury are in a slightly different boat. With two weeks without a game of football, this is the perfect time for those players to try and get back to full fitness as soon as possible, even if that does mean they are unable to relax and enjoy themselves for as long as the rest of their teammates.
Klopp will likely be desperate to have Mane back and ready to feature. The Senegal international has been one of the 52-year-old’s best players this season, with him already having 15 goals and 11 assists in all competitions. Such has been the quality of his displays, he has also been named African Player of the Year and finished fourth in the Ballon d’Or rankings in recent months.
Whilst Liverpool have done well without Mane – they have won every game, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain even scoring from the left flank against Southampton – Klopp will still be eager to see one of his star players back as soon as possible. The Premier League may be all but sewn up as they have a 22-point lead at the top, but defending their Champions League title will be a far sterner test. Their chances of doing that will improve with Mane fit and firing.