The former Reds captain says Obtaining a Senegalese star back”New” after Trauma could prove Quite timely in the defense of a Champions League crown

Sadio Mane is “as important as Mohamed Salah” when it comes to attacking inspiration at Liverpool, says former Reds captain Phil Thompson.

Jurgen Klopp boasts an abundance of superstar forwards in his group in Anfield.

Salah has become the go-to man since coming on Merseyside, with the Egyptian seeing his stock rise rapidly since finishing a change from Roma.

Two Premier League Golden Boots have been added to his collection, but Mane maintained a share of a few of these in 2018-19.

The Senegal international also gathered the 2019 African Player of the Year award before a club colleague and finished fourth at the past Ballon d’Or vote.

His value isn’t lost on people around him at Liverpool, or followers around the world, with the other 16 goals added to his impressive tally this term.

The most recent of these came from Norwich, as he returned from injury to produce a match-winning donation, and Thompson admits Mane’s return couldn’t be more timely.

The ex-Reds defender told Sky Sports of a guy who currently has 100 goals in English football to his title: “It was great to have Sadio Mane back at Norwich.

“With him being out for a while, he’s become as critical as Mohamed Salah concerning goal scoring this season. He’s been nothing short of top-class so that you want him to be accessible.

“You might have seen him on the bench with the Champions League game coming up on Tuesday, but if we’d have been winning or losing, he would have been coming on to acquire the comparative game time.

“How fresh he seemed will have warmed the heart of every Liverpool fan and most likely the most of his team-mates too. He had this energy in his legs, which was an additional incentive to Liverpool winning the match.”

With Mane back up to full speed, Liverpool’s focus has shifted away from their dominance of the Premier League title race and towards the defense of the Champions League crown.

A meeting with Atletico Madrid is next on the schedule there, with the first leg of a last-16 experience set to happen in Spain on Tuesday, with Thompson expecting Klopp’s side to successfully navigate another difficult test.

He added: “This Liverpool group is made of different stuff. Everybody believes it will be an all-out assault.

“There have been lots of games in which Jurgen Klopp and his team have sussed out a group and put up their shape to participate at just over halfway.

“Liverpool could go for it and press very high or they could sit and draw them because of the standing, looking to hit them on the counter.

“Overall, it’s a really intriguing game. Liverpool can’t play any other way than to attack in the return leg at Anfield.”