Sadio Mane should play as a centre-forward in Roberto Firmino’s absence

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp may have something of a striker conundrum should Roberto Firmino be ruled out with the issue that saw him substituted off against Manchester United after half-an-hour on Sunday, but there might be one surprise solution.

On the chalkboard

The Reds have crucial fixtures against Watford and Everton this week as they look to keep their Premier League title hopes alive and kicking, but they could easily be without their Brazilian talisman.

Klopp of course could call on Daniel Sturridge – as he did on Sunday – or Divock Origi to fill the centre-forward role, or the German boss could choose to use Mo Salah through the middle – something he has done when he has preferred a 4-2-3-1 system.

However, one left-field option could be to use Sadio Mane there, in the hope of aiding the Senegal international’s personal development.

Make him less selfish

While the 26-year-old is clearly a great attacker who provides a huge threat for his team in the final third, there have been examples on more than one occasion this term where he has been too selfish.

It is a trait that perhaps could have been attributed to Firmino prior to him being used through the middle too, but since he moved to the centre-forward role he has clearly become much more of a team player and taken the responsibility on his shoulders.

The South American star has excelled when it comes to holding the ball and bringing his teammates into play, and basically giving Mane and Salah more time and space to thrive.

It is certainly an unselfish role that the Brazilian is playing, and Mane could learn a thing or two by taking on the same one – with last season’s top goalscorer and Xherdan Shaqiri available they wouldn’t lose quality on the wings either.