Sadio Mane has revealed his excitement for Liverpool’s next season following the return of key defensive stars Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

Having all suffered long-term injuries (the Cameroonian to a lesser extent) last term, Jurgen Klopp’s men were robbed of their security in the backline, with the reverberations of the constant chopping and changing in the centre of defence being felt across the XI.

“I think not only me, I think everybody [is excited]!” the Senegalese winger told liverpoolfc.com.

“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 and Joel, 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 per cent – 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.’”

Having returned to team training recently, Klopp has already confirmed that Van Dijk and Gomez won’t be available for the side’s impending meeting with former club Mainz this evening.

While we don’t know exactly what kind of player we’ll be getting back after the Dutch international’s long-term injury, on paper it’s difficult to argue against the potential impact his return will have.

After all, a Liverpool side bereft of a consistent central defensive partnership, injury-prone midfield and underfiring frontline managed to finish third in the league last term.

It raises questions about what Klopp could achieve with a full-strength squad back at his disposal with, as many hope, a couple of new faces to fill in vacancies.

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This article first appeared on Empire of the Kop and was syndicated with permission.

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