Mane’s absence cost Liverpool Premier League title last season, says Steven Gerrard

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The legend believes the 25-year-old’s absence in January due to country’s commitment dented the Reds chances of winning the English topflight title

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard said Sadio Mane was 'sorely missed' by the Reds in the English Premier League last season when he left for African Cup of Nations in January.

Mane led Jurgen Klopp’s men to the second spot in the league before he went on to represent the Lions of the Teranga who later crashed out at the quarter-finals round of the tournament in Gabon.

Gerrard who spent 17 seasons with the Reds thinks the pacy forward who scored 15 goals in 32 league outings last campaign, was greatly missed in the Anfield outfit that dropped points in January.

“He’s a special player,” Gerrard told BT Sport.

“I think his goal return is fantastic. He got 15 goals in 32 appearances (last season).

“He’s becoming a fan favourite here, he scores all kinds of different goals.

"Lots of pace and he’s a threat all over the pitch.

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“He is electric, Liverpool missed him badly last January.

“He breaks the line with his runs, he’s very direct and when he gets in he’s got pure quality.

“I think Liverpool were really close to the top of the league, he had to go to the Africa Cup of Nations and I don’t think they won all the way through January so he was sorely missed.”