Jurgen Klopp has said he had no concerns over the form of Sadio Mane, despite the Liverpool forward’s struggles in front of goal in recent weeks.
Mane has managed just seven goals in 27 Premier League games this season, and only three in his last 23. He has not netted in the league since the 3-1 win at Tottenham on January 31, a run of eight scoreless games.
The Senegal star cut a frustrated figure as the Reds lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the first leg of their
Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday night, with Klopp venting his fury at referee Felix Brych afterward, claiming the German official had “something personal” against Mane.
Asked about Mane’s form of late, Klopp told reporters: “We all know how good Sadio Mane is, what a player he is and what he did for us. But obviously, the numbers scoring-wise are not great at the moment and he knows that.
“For a player with the mindset of Sadio, he wants to do extremely well. But this is the situation he is in. Each striker in the world knows these kind of situations.
“I’m not concerned but I see it as well (that his form isn’t the best), it’s clear. We work on it. It’s the only answer I can give.”
Mane could play his 40th game of the season for Liverpool against Aston Villa on Saturday, and has played in 171 of the Reds’ last 188 games in the Premier League and Champions League. Only Andy Robertson, Gini Wijnaldum and Mo Salah have played more minutes than the 28-year-old since the start of last season.
Klopp added: “The schedule over the last three years was for a lot of players in world football a tough one. For him, as well, that’s true, but I don’t think that’s the reason.
“There is no physical problem for Sadio, not a real one – we all need breaks from time to time, that is clear – but it’s not a general problem.
“It’s just the situation. If you don’t score for a while, then strikers start thinking. There is a moment when you start thinking exactly the right things again and then it will be fine again. We have to make sure this time is not too far away.”