Liverpool must do everything necessary to hold on to Salah and Mane – Kuyt3 min read
Liverpool must do everything in their power to agree new contracts with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
That is the opinion of former Liverpool striker Durk Kuyt, who has urged his old club to seal the futures of two of their star attackers.
Mane joined Liverpool from Southampton in June 2016, the year before Salah traded Roma for Anfield.
Since Salah scored on his debut against Watford in the Premier League in August 2017, no player has netted more times in the competition than the forward, who has 117 goals in 176 league appearances for the Reds.
Meanwhile, Mane is joint-fourth on the list of Premier League goalscorers in that same timeframe, behind Harry Kane (100) and Jamie Vardy (86), alongside Raheem Sterling on 75.
The duo have been integral to Jurgen Klopp’s success, which includes a Champions League and Premier League title. But both of their contracts expire at the end of next season.
Negotiations are ongoing with Salah, who wants Liverpool to break their wage structure to agree new terms, but Kuyt insists both players must be retained.
“Of course it’s important to keep your best players and I’m sure Liverpool will do everything they can to get hold on of these players,” Kuyt told Stats Perform.
“You’re always looking to improve your squad but if you are Liverpool, you’re also trying to keep the best players and for me Mane is definitely one of them.
“Just like I said, he’s scoring goals, such important goals in an attacking role. [He is] very important for the team but also even last week I saw him you know defending, tackling, sprinting back and that’s how Jurgen loves his players.”
Mane netted the priceless second-half equaliser in a thrilling 2-2 draw against Premier League leaders Manchester City earlier in April to keep Liverpool’s title and quadruple hopes alive.
However, the 30-year-old has been under added pressure since the January signing of Luis Diaz, with Mane forced into a more central role when Klopp prefers to play Salah and the Colombia international either side of him. That has not derailed his form, though.
“It’s pretty amazing how Mane is managing these changes in the team because he started on the right when he was coming,” former Netherlands international Kuyt added.
“Then he went to the left and now Diaz is playing the games on the left and he’s starting to play central and still doing great jobs.
“I think it’s the togetherness of the five attacking players because we also have Jota and Firmino, they are very important for the team, that togetherness of scoring as many goals together but also defending very well together.
“I think this is the biggest strength of Liverpool and probably Liverpool has the best attack in the world.”
Kuyt also praised Diaz for the speed in which he has settled in at Liverpool following his January transfer from Porto for an initial £37million (€43.9m).
“You can speak the language of football and when you speak that language it’s pretty easy to understand. But I think I said before how important Diaz is for the team, and how special it is that he coped so well since his arrival,” Kuyt said.
“He’s been in a new country, a new culture, new team, new coach, so he has to learn the tactics of the team.”