Sadio Mané enhanced his reputation as one of football’s nicest players on Saturday afternoon, as he asked Watford captain Troy Deeney to look out for his international teammate Ismaila Sarr.
Liverpool edged a tight contest and defeated the Hornets 2-0 at Anfield, but it could have been a different story had Sarr not fluffed a glorious chance in the closing stages of the first-half.
Following the Reds’ victory, Mané spoke with Sarr and Deeney in the tunnel and asked the latter to keep an eye on his compatriot as he adjusts to the demands of the Premier League.
After wishing Deeney an enjoyable Christmas, Mane added: “Take care of my boy, yeah. He’s a shy boy.”
The 21-year-old summer signing from Rennes has struggled to adapt to English football, scoring just once in the Premier League since his £30m transfer. Hitting the back of the net has been Watford’s Achilles Heel this season as they’ve scored just nine goals and won once.
However, with Watford notably improved in Nigel Pearson’s first game as manager, Hornets’ fans will be hopeful of Sarr producing the form that resulted in eight Ligue 1 goals and six assists last season.
Responding to Mané, Deeney joked that: “He just needs to speak English, he’s working on it. He’s a good boy.”
Mané, meanwhile, continues to match his excellent on-pitch form with generous gestures off it. Earlier this year, the Senegal international visited the £250,000 school he is building in his home village of Bambali – where he has already contributed to the creation of a hospital.
Liverpool’s victory opened up a ten-point lead over nearest title rivals Leicester and a 17-point gap to current champions Manchester City. In a year that Mané has lifted the Champions League trophy and finished fourth in the Ballon d’Or standings, the forward could end the year by winning the FIFA Club World Cup and sending the Reds on their way to a maiden Premier League title.