‘He’s a nightmare’ – Sheffield United’s Baldock names Liverpool star Mane as toughest opponent

The 27-year-old centre-back said he had a difficult time playing against the Senegalese star in his maiden campaign in the English top-flight

Sheffield United defender George Baldock has named Liverpool forward Sadio Mane as the toughest and best opponent he faced has in the Premier League.

Baldock played every minute of the Blades’ games in the English top-flight, and he featured against the 2019 African Footballer of the Year twice during the 2019-20 campaign.

Mane sealed the Reds’ 2-0 victory against Sheffield United at Anfield earlier in January and the England-born defender recalled how daunting the challenge was against the 28-year-old.

“I always say the toughest opponent by far was Sadio Mane,” Baldock told the Telegraph via Liverpool Echo.

“If he’s not running at you with the ball then he’s running in behind you without it.

“He’s coming short, going long, making diagonal runs. He’s always looking to get behind you and that’s a nightmare for you.”

Mane ended the 2019-20 season with 18 goals and seven assists as Jurgen Klopp’s men clinched the league crown, ending the Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a top-flight title.

Baldock, meanwhile, helped Sheffield United finished ninth in the Premier League and revealed his eagerness to play against Mane next season.

“Sometimes when wingers want the ball to feet, it can be slightly easier, but he’s just a world-class player and by far the best I’ve played against,” he continued.

“I want to play against him again, 100 per cent, and have another go, I relish playing against the best players and I want to play at this level for the rest of my career.”

Thanks to his outstanding displays in the Premier League this season, the Senegal international is in the running for the Premier League Player of the Season award.

He battles teammates Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson, Manchester City‘s Kevin De Bruyne, Southampton‘s Danny Ings, Leicester City‘s Jamie Vardy and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope for the honour.

Since he moved to Merseyside in 2016, Mane has established himself as a key player in the Liverpool side and he completes the formidable attacking trio of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

He played a crucial role in helping the Reds win the Uefa Champions League title last season, and he was also involved in their Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup triumphs last year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *