Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is certain the club will adapt fine without him when he leaves for the African Nations Cup one month from now.
The 24-year-old has been critical in Liverpool’s attacking this season, particularly in the Premier League in which they are just six points behind league leaders Chelsea however the Reds have to settle January without Mane.
It could be a big blow for Liverpool as, since his £30million from Southampton this Summer, the winger has been phenomenal and played the most pivotal to keep the red flying at the above positions in the league. He has scored eight Premier League goals this season for Liverpool and been directly included in 20 goals in his last 24 top flight appearances.
And while talking about the situation, Mane expressed his confidence in his team-mates and said the team can even play better than now then and can surely cope up without him.
“It will not be easy for me to go with Senegal next month,” said Mane.
“I would love to carry on playing with my teammates and help my team, but I think they will understand because it is my country and it is my dream.
“I will be wishing them good luck but without me the team will be the same. Even better I think. They will cope. Coutinho will come back. Matip will come back and Sturridge is back now.
The attacker also heaped praise for his team-mate Daniel Sturridge who made his comeback against Everton after a month out with a calf injury and provided an impressive display.
“I am very happy for him [Sturridge]. It has not been easy for him being out, he has had a lot of injuries, but you know he can deliver important performances for the team. That is why the team will be strong [while I am away],” he added.
The Liverpool winger who scored the winner in last weekend’s’ Merseyside Derby will be away at the Afcon till, January 23 when Senegal will end their group matches and if they moved into later knockout stages, the absence will be further.
Mane could miss as many as eight matches during this period, with the likes of Premier League games against Manchester United, Swansea City, Chelsea and Hull City, both legs of the English Football League Cup semi-final against former club Southampton and third round of FA cup against Plymouth Argyle or Newport County and fourth round of the same if they advance.