Player turned pundit Tony Cascarino has claimed that former club record signing Saido Mane can assume the role of Liverpool's talisman should Philippe Coutinho leave for Barcelona.
Coutinho has been the subject of a protracted transfer saga, with the Catalans having targetted the services of the diminutive Brazillian. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has maintained his stance on the sale of Coutinho though, insisting the former Inter man will not be allowed to leave.
“There is no price limit to let him go or a price that we are ready to give in,” Klopp said. “Our goal is to have the best possible team. So we want to keep our guys and add new ones. That is our plan.
Still, Cascarino believes forward Saido Mane can keep Liverpool in a competitive position even if Coutinho joins Lionel Messi and co.
"Losing Philippe Coutinho would be a huge loss for Liverpool but in Sadio Mané I think they have a player just as talented," he said. "Mané’s goal was one that few players could score.
He is unplayable at times and can be their talisman if Coutinho leaves," Cascarino wrote for the Times.
Mane arrived at Anfield in a reported £34m move from Southampton in 2016. The Senegalese attacker scored 14 goals and set up a further seven last term, helping Liverpool secure Champions League football.
The Reds opened their new Premier League campaign with a six-goal thriller against Watford, which ended in a 3-3 draw, and it was not Liverpool's attack that faltered in the aforementioned fixture, but the English giants' leaky defence.