13 Nov 2016

Anfield Update: £43m Liverpool 'superstar' nominated for 'Player of the Year' award

One of Jurgen Klopp's summer signings is in the running to receive a prestigious personal accolade.

On Saturday, the BBC revealed its 5-man shortlist for 2016's 'African Player of the Year' for 2016, and Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane made the cut. Full list:

* Mane [Liverpool/Senegal]

* Riyad Mahrez (Leicester/Algeria]

* Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund/Gabon]

* Andre Ayew [West Ham/Ghana]

* Yaya Toure [Man City/Ivory Coast]

In my view, given his fall from grace this season, Toure's selection is undeserved. If he'd led City to the title last year then it might be understandable, but Toure's inclusion smacks of selection complacency rather than merit.

The final list itself is arguably narrow and insular (four nominees from the Premier League?), but in my view, there is the only serious contender, and that's Mahrez, who is the only one of the chosen five who pushed his team to a major trophy this year (and did so in incredible circumstances).

I thought about conducting a poll, but there's no point because - as proven in many other polls - biased, one-eyed Liverpool fans would just select Mane, irrespective of whether he deserves the award.

Mahrez could score 20 goals on the way to winning the Champions League with Leicester, and then lead Algeria to World Cup victory, and Reds fans would still choose Mane. Objectivity is an alien concept to most football fans, but that's life.

* £43m-rated (CIES Football Observatory). Described by Danny Murphy as a superstar'


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