Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has described the 2020-21 campaign as “the worst season in my career” but can’t put his finger on why.
It has been a rough season for the Reds, with key players dropping like flies or simply dropping clangers, their star men have looked indifferent in the club’s first Premier League title defence.
Mane has scored nine league goals so far this season and will need to double that amount in Liverpool’s four remaining fixtures if he is to match his 2019-20 tally.
Speaking to Canal Plus, the former Southampton man can’t understand what has gone wrong this season: “If you ask me what is wrong I will struggle to give you an answer. Personally I don’t know.
“I have always tried to be positive, whether things are going well or badly. I question myself all the time.
“I even underwent a test to take a look at my body. Am I eating the right foods, or has everything changed? But they checked the test results, and everything is fine.
“I need to understand that in life there are ups and downs.
“I will keep on working hard – and perhaps in time this situation will pass.”
After scoring his 14th goal in all competitions to help Liverpool defeat Southampton on Saturday night, Mane will hope this is the start of a late-season flurry of goals as Jurgen Klopp’s side continue to fight for a top-four finish.
The famous front three of Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have not hit the dizzy heights of previous seasons, with Jamie Carragher believing that the trio will have to be broken up in order for the Reds to progress.
“They are all getting to their late 20s and sooner or later that front three will have to be broken up,” Carragher told Sky Sports back in January.
However, the club legend believes that if one is to be replaced, it’s Firmino:
“I’m still confident that Mane and Salah will start scoring goals again, but I must say I am worried for Firmino.
“He’s never been seen as the goal scorer, that’s the responsibility of the other two. But he’s there to chip in and when they’re not scoring, and I just feel he needs to be a bigger goal threat.”
Since then, Mane has mustered up three goals in 14 league matches, whereas Firmino has one goal in as many games, giving Klopp something to think about for the upcoming transfer window.