“He’s going to really be pushing John Barnes for the all-time Liverpool XI when he finishes.”
After their 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, the champions laid down a marker to the rest of England and after the game, Jamie Carragher singled out one Liverpool player out as being the best in the league.
While Kevin De Bruyne received the PFA Player of the Year award, there’s no doubting who the team of the year were, as five Liverpool players were named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for 2019-20. However, Carragher believes the main awards went to the wrong man.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, and Sadio Mane each claimed a place in the XI, which was voted for by their fellow professionals across the country.
After helping the Reds end a 30-year wait to clinch the top-flight title with a club-record total of 99 points last season, there’s a case to be made that each of these Liverpool players are all worthy of individual recognition. But of those five players, it was Henderson and Van Dijk that were championed the most.
In fact, the Liverpool captain won the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.
Carragher on Mane.
However, during his analysis of Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher hailed Sadio Mane as the best player in the Premier League.
Granted, that appears to be less of a brave call in the aftermath of a game where the Senegalese attacker scores two goals, but Carragher has been steadfast in his belief that Mane is the league’s best player – he even said it last year before the awards were dished out.
Last season, the former Southampton man scored 18 league goals and set up nine more as Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for the title and Jamie Carragher championed him again yesterday.
When asked by host Dave Jones if Mane was the best player in the Premier League, Jamie Carragher said:
“Well, I said he was the best player last year. To be fair, Kevin de Bruyne got it (PFA) and Jordan Henderson got the other one (Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year), but certainly, for me, I thought Sadio Mane was Liverpool’s best player and would have been very close in the running.
“I think he’s certainly one of the top left-sided attacking players in world football, there’s no doubt about that. I love him and for me, I always go back to Mane because he was the first big signing for Jurgen Klopp. That signing got Liverpool into the Champions League in Klopp’s first full season.
“Without that, I don’t think it (Klopp’s success) goes on from there. Then the other players come, there’s more revenue arriving into the club. He was almost been a constant from day one with Klopp and he’s an absolute superstar.”
Carragher: Mane will become a Liverpool legend.
After playing such a key role in Liverpool’s recent successes in the league and in Europe, Mane will definitely go down in history as a Reds icon. In fact, Carragher even thinks that if you were selecting an all-time best Liverpool XI, the Senegalese attacker would take the place of the beloved John Barnes.
“I think when Mane finishes, that’s a serious discussion and I can’t believe that I’m saying it because John Barnes for me is like a god, but what that man has done since joining Liverpool, he’s going to really be pushing John Barnes for the all-time Liverpool XI when he finishes.”
You can watch Carragher speak about Mane in full below.
Clip via Sky Sports Football