Mane talks up fully fit Liverpool after Van Dijk, Matip & Gomes return from injury

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Sadio Mane has revealed his excitement after seeing Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Virgil van Dijk return to full training.

The trio missed a big part of the 2020/21 season owing to injuries, and as a result, the reigning Premier League champions at the time battled to a third-place finish.

The Senegal international, who had by his own admission the worst season of his career, noted how incredible it is to have every player available for pre-season ahead of the new season.

"I think not only me, I think everybody [is excited to have them back]," Mane told Liverpool FC.

"As a player, we all become like fans because if you see your teammate getting back in training and fit, you just say, 'Wow!' When I see Virgil, Joe [Gomez] and Joel [Matip], after every training session I say, 'My friend, how are you feeling?' Because I think to have everybody back in the team is just incredible. 

"Because we know what they are capable of doing for the team and for us, the most important thing is the team, so having those players fit, 100 percent – I think you can always see the smiles of the boys and say: 'Wow, what a season it’s going to be for us again'."

The 29-year-old has further stated he is fit and ready for the new campaign which starts on August 14.

"Yeah, sure [I am in better shape than this time last year," Mane continued when asked about last season.

"I think it’s always important as a player to have a break because I can say since I came to Liverpool this was the first time I have had four weeks or more holidays, so I think that sometimes helps a lot.  

"I could see from day one that everybody was looking sharp, which for me was unbelievable! I am not complaining about having one week or two weeks’ holiday, but I think it’s always extra [helpful] for us to have this long period of holiday. 

"To be honest, everybody, and I for sure feels more ready. I always say tiredness is here [in the head] and obviously you have to be mentally strong to cope with it, but at the same time, I think resting is the best [thing].

"I think now we have all rested properly so this is another advantage for us. We are looking to be ready for the season now."

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Last season, Mane scored 16 goals but was disappointed since he felt he should have done more. He has now expressed his optimism ahead of the new campaign.

"Well, I think as I said at the beginning – and when I said it, I meant it, for sure [that it was a tough season]. It was not my best season, which I know," he added.

"Like I always said, it can happen in football but I think it won’t be the same [next] season. For sure, I am more ready, mentally, physically, everything, so I think it will be, for myself, an exciting season."