There is no doubt that Sadio Mane is an important part of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side. But how important is he and why is he so important? Let us investigate.

Joining Liverpool

Sadio Mane was purchased by Jurgen Klopp for 30 million pounds sterling last summer, as reported on the Liverpool FC website. Mane, who was bought from Southampton, had scored 25 goals in 75 appearances for the South Coast side. But more than halfway through the current season, it looks like the money that was paid for the Senegalese striker is turning out to be a bargain.

How important is Mane to Liverpool?

In answering this first question, let us firstly look at the statistics. As reported in the Metro newspaper, OptaJoe stated that "Sadio Mane has been directly involved in more PL goals than any other Liverpool player this season". This includes eleven goals and four assists. Furthermore, when Mane plays, Liverpool have a win percentage of 71%, but without him that figure drops to 30%. In addition, Liverpool's goals per game drops without the forward; with him it is 2.6 but without him it drops to 1.0. The extent to how important Sadio Mane is to this Liverpool side is illustrated by two factors; firstly their poor form in January when the striker was away at then African Cup of Nations, and secondly his impact since he returned.

With regards to the former. In his absence, Liverpool won only one match, which was an FA Cup replay against Plymouth. In addition, in this time period they lost five of their seven matches. With regards to the latter, his performance against Tottenham last weekend showed his true worth to the club. His "quick-fire" double helped Liverpool to win the game 2-0.

Why is Mane so important?

With regards to the second question, Mane is so important for a few key reasons. Jack Watson from the Squawka website stated that "Liverpool were a much different prospect" with the Senegalese striker playing. This is because the players' pace caused "real trouble for Spurs". This was echoed by Tony Cascarino who stated that "what sets him apart is his ability to run past players", and that "his presence makes Liverpool particularly strong on the right flank".

It is because of this that Cascarino believes that Mane "is now their most important player".

If Liverpool can keep Mane fit, he will surely have a major bearing on where Liverpool finish this season. If he continues in the same form, a top four finish is well within their reach.