Jamie Carragher Says Sadio Mane More Important for Liverpool Than Mohamed Salah

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Sadio Mane of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on April 14, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Sadio Mane is more valuable to the current Liverpool squad than top scorer Mohamed Salah, according to club legend Jamie Carragher. 

The Sky Sports pundit, who spent 17 years in the Reds' senior side, was asked which of the attacking duo he would rather lose from Jurgen Klopp's title-challenging squad for the 2018-19 run-in, and he replied: "Salah."

Per Sky Sports' Monday Night Football (h/t MailOnline's David Wood), Carragher added:

"I'm a massive fan of Mane. People talk about Jurgen Klopp, the signings of Salah, [Virgil] van Dijk, unbelievable. Mane is the one that got Liverpool back. If you think, he was Klopp's first big signing, paid £30 million. He was the signing that got Liverpool into the top four. The next season it was the Champions League final, this season it's challenging for the title.

"It's not just scoring, being top of the charts, getting goals when it's 4-0 and banging a couple in at the end of the game, it's the importance of the goals Mane is getting. You think about it and I think sometimes he goes under the radar. You've got Salah, Van Dijk at the back, the goalkeeper [Alisson].

"Liverpool are going for a first title in almost 30 years. He's the best wide player Liverpool have had for 30 years. You have to go back to John Barnes since Liverpool have had a wide player like that."

Mane, 27, signed for Liverpool from Southampton for £34 million in June 2016.

He is enjoying the best goalscoring season of his career and has been vital for the Reds as they bid for a first league title win since 1990.

Last season, Salah netted a record 32 Premier League goals, but Liverpool still finished fourth, 25 points back from champions Manchester City.

This season the Egyptian has netted 19 times in the English top flight, while Mane has 18.

They both scored in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday that saw them return to the top of the table:

The Easter period looks set to be crucial in the title race.

Liverpool's clash against Chelsea was their final fixture of the campaign against a top-six side, and they now face relegation-struggling Cardiff City before hosting already-relegated Huddersfield Town.

City, meanwhile, take on Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday before travelling to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on April 24.

The Manchester derby is City's game in hand over Liverpool, and if the Sky Blues are top of the table by the end of that match, the Reds' title hopes may be over.

However, City's run-in is much tougher than Liverpool's and any dropped points from Pep Guardiola's side could prove fatal.

With Mane and Salah in fantastic form, and Liverpool's defence as mean as ever this season, they are strong favourites to pick up maximum points from their final four games against Cardiff, Huddersfield, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

If that happens, City will also need to win their final five games against Spurs, United, Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion in order to pip them to the title. 

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