Six things you need to know about Manchester United target Sadio Mane
Published 20/08/2015 | 09:11
Poor Manchester United. It's not easy signing loads of global megastars then all of a sudden not signing one. But that's exactly what appears to have happened now Chelsea have stealthily beaten them to the signature of top transfer target Pedro.
So now Louis van Gaal and his band of merry Mancs have turned their attention to a player a little closer to home - 23-year-old Southampton winger Sadio Mane.
But what do we know about him? I mean, apart from his name and all the times we've watched him play during his 30 Premier League appearances for Southampton last season and the time he scored that amazing hat-trick against Aston Villa, what do we really know about him? Literally nothing.
Well you don't anyway. I do. But don't worry, I'm willing to share. You can just owe me. Don't worry about it, just get me a pint or something next time.
Here is everything you need to know about Manchester United's new, improved transfer target, Sadio Mane.
1. People have already started messing around with his Wikipedia page
This was removed quite soon after it was posted, presumably because of the lack of punctuation as well as the sheer stupidity.
2. He cost Southampton £10m on transfer deadline day last season
While the rest of the country was going wild over Radamel Falcao and Danny Welbeck, Ronald Koeman's Saints were quietly congratulating themselves on yet another smart, under-the-radar deal. He's done a great job at St Mary's since, which means any potential suitors will likely have to improve significantly on the £10m price Saints paid for him.
3. He has a solid - but not extraordinary - goalscoring record
Mane hit 45 goals in just 87 games while at Red Bull Salzburg, but was playing in a league of considerably lower quality than the Premiership. Having said that, he still managed ten league goals in 30 games for Southampton, which isn't bad. Especially if three of them come at record-breaking speed, which brings me to...
4. He scored the fastest ever Premier League hat-trick
I know I already mentioned it in the intro and then gave you the impression I'd only be telling you other things that you didn't already know, but HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO GET THROUGH WRITING THIS WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT THE FASTEST HAT TRICK IN PREMIER LEAGUE HISTORY?
Mane netted his three goals in just two minutes and 56 seconds as part of Southampton's 6-1 demolition of Aston Villa in May.
In taking the extraordinary crown, Mane overtook Robbie Fowler, whose four minute, 32 second hat-trick was scored against Arsenal in August 1994.
He said after the game: "In Senegal they will be happy for me. I have many fans there."
Which brings me to...
5. He's from Senegal
Sadio has scored six goals in 22 caps for his country, and he's only 23. He was called up for the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year despite being injured as national coach Alain Giresse gambled that he would recover in time. It paid off, as Mane managed to play twice before Senegal were knocked out in the group stage.
He also featured in his country's 2012 Olympic football team.
6. He's very fast, and he loves to run at defenders
Mane completed more take-ons than any other Southampton player last season, and 58% of them were successful. He also created 40 chances for his teammates, and took 60 shots himself over his 30-match season. In short, he's a player who likes to make things happen.