Georginio Wijnaldum has dismissed suggestions Liverpool are overly reliant on Sadio Mane.
Jurgen Klopp’s men struggled to find their best form during the Senegal international’s time away at the Africa Cup of Nations, crashing out of the FA Cup and EFL Cup as well as falling behind in the race for the Premier League title.
The former Southampton man demonstrated his importance with two goals to help Liverpool record a 2-0 win over Tottenham in only his second full game since his return, but Wijnaldum is adamant the Reds are not all about Mane.
“He is really important, but it is too much Sadio Mane now,” Wijnaldum was quoted as saying by Liverpool Echo.
“He scored two goals but I also think it has been about him because we had poor results without Sadio. Before he left for Africa we had good results, only against Sunderland we did not have a good result. Still they said ‘Sadio Mane, Sadio Mane’ but last week we lost with Sadio Mane.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 11, 2017
“I don’t think it is fair to the other players to say ‘because of Sadio Mane we win’. Of course he is a great player, he helps us with his speed and he scores goals, but I think it is more about the team than only Sadio Mane.
“It is normal that if you have poor results without Sadio everyone will say ‘Sadio Mane’. If it was another player like when Phil [Coutinho] was injured, if we had poor results then everyone would have said ‘Phil Coutinho’. You have to get used to it but I don’t think it is fair.”