Liverpool’s pre-season preparations have received a boost with Jurgen Klopp revealing Sadio Mane is set to return to training.
And the Reds’ manager is already relishing the thought of Mane teaming up with new signing Mohamed Salah, report the Liverpool Echo.
Salah has made an impressive start to his Liverpool career following his £36.9million move from Roma with two goals in three outings so far.
The Egypt international has given the Reds another attacking dimension and Klopp is about to benefit from another injection of blistering pace.
Mane has been given the green light to resume his Liverpool career after completing his rehabilitation on a knee injury.
The former Southampton wideman, who proved a massive hit during his first season with the Reds, has been sidelined since being hurt in the Merseyside derby at the start of April.
He’s missed the opening three weeks of pre-season but is now fully fit and will rejoin the squad when they reconvene at Melwood on Tuesday following their trip to Hong Kong.
“The plan is for Sadio to start team training this week,” Klopp told the ECHO.
“He trained on Friday for the first time with the little team – six players – at home.
“Everybody is positive that he’s there and finally we can use Sadio again which will be great.
“He’s been out for so long. After a crazy long time, it will be so good to have him back.”
Mane walked away with both the Players’ Player of the Season and the Supporters’ Player of the Season accolades at the club’s end of season awards back in May after netting 13 goals for the Reds.
He did the damage from playing on the right side of Klopp’s front three but a change of role is on the cards this term following the arrival of Salah, who favours that wing.
Mane played on the left at times for both Southampton and Red Bull Salzburg and Klopp insists both of his wingers are versatile.
Asked if Mane’s position would be changing, Klopp said: “In specific games, yes, it’s possible.
“But Sadio could play on the right and Mo could play as the No 10. No problem.
“Mo can even play as the No 9. He was the striker, the second striker, at times for Roma. We have lots of different options.
“Bayern Munich’s most successful time was with a left footer on the right wing and a right footer on the left wing. (Franck) Ribery and (Arjen) Robben. That wasn’t the worst idea!
Liverpool’s mid-season slump last term arrived when they were shorn of Mane’s speed and creative spark due to his international commitments with Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Now Klopp has two top class wideman who can operate in tandem. The manager’s priority over the final three weeks of pre-season is to ensure that both Mane and Salah stay fit and are fully prepared for the challenges ahead.
Klopp has been delighted by Salah’s impact so far but says ensuring Liverpool get the best out of him remains a work in progress.
“Yes, if those two are healthy, being able to use their speed as a team will be very nice,” Klopp said.
“I like this view but the problem is I can’t ignore that a lot of things could happen. It won’t always be exactly like this. We need to keep them healthy, confident and in a good rhythm.
“Yes, Salah is a fantastic player. No doubt about it. Speed is wonderful but we need to use it in a smart way.
“When you are fouled at that kind of speed, it can be one body check and you are on the other side of the stand.
“The other night we were shooting balls in Salah’s direction and he was running like crazy but he can’t do that all the time.
“But it’s really good to have him and of course there are good reasons why we took him.”
Liverpool returned to the UK on Sunday following their Premier League Asia Trophy triumph in Hong Kong.
Their second training camp of the summer will be closer to home and the conditions won’t be as gruelling.
The Reds will fly to Germany on Wednesday to prepare for Saturday’s clash with Hertha Berlin and their subsequent involvement in the Audi Cup in Munich.