Southampton winger Djenepo aiming to be the next Mane

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Moussa Djenepo, Sadio Mane
The Mali international did not hide his admiration for the Senegalese forward whom he has been compared to earlier this season

Southampton winger Moussa Djenepo said he is aiming to become the next Sadio Mane as he described the Liverpool star as "a big inspiration" for him.

Djenepo has enjoyed a fine debut campaign in the Premier League after his move from Standard Liege last June, with a contribution of two goals and two assists in 18 outings for the Saints.

The 21-year-old’s electric form in Ralph Hasenhuttl's team has drawn a comparison between him and Mane, who left St Mary's Stadium in 2016 to join Liverpool.

The 2019 African Footballer of the Year has established himself as a key player in Jurgen Klopp’s side, becoming one of the best stars from the continent in Europe and Djenepo sees him as "big brother" he can learn more from to be better.

“Sadio is a big inspiration for me. I like him, he’s a very big player,” Djenepo told talkSport.

“But I think I can be better [than him] if I work hard. Sadio is a very big player, and I’m young and I need to learn more.

“In the future we will see. I will do my best to become the next Sadio Mane.”

The Malian forward is also full praise for teammate Danny Ings who welcomed him to the team after penning a four-year contract last summer.

With 15 league goals so far, Ings is the leading goal scorer for Southampton who are placed 14th in the Premier League.

“It was a big motivation for me, that a big player like Danny took time to text you when you are young like I am,” he said.

“It meant everything to me. Danny’s a very, very good guy. “He’s given me so much advice in training, we smile together and I’m trying to teach him the French language as well!”

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Djenepo's solo strike against Sheffield United was named the Goal of the Month for September in the English top-flight.

On the international scene, the 21-year-old has scored two goals in 15 appearances for Mali since his debut outing against Ivory Coast in October 2017.

He was also part of the Eagles’ team that participated at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt where they failed to progress past the group stage.