John Aldridge reveals how pep talk with Sadio Mane kick-started rich vein of form for Liverpool striker
John Aldridge has revealed he has been encouraging Liverpool striker Sadio Mane to set his sights on winning this season's Premier League golden boot, with the Senegal striker responding to his encouragement with a glut of goals.
Liverpool goal scoring great Aldridge has been chatting to Mane after Liverpool games at Anfield in recent weeks, with the Reds No.10 embarking on a rich vein of scoring form on the back of Aldo's words of support.
Mane is now just two goals behind Sergio Aguero in the race to finish as the Premier League's top scorer, with Aldridge convinced Liverpool's No.10 can get into the mix to land the prize he collected during his days as the Reds' leading scorer.
"I have been chatting to Sadio Mane after Liverpool's recent home matches and every time I see him I say, 'you should go for the golden boot' and he just smiles at the prospect," said Aldridge.
"Since we have been chatting, he has scored eight goals in his last eight Premier League appearances and now has 16 to his credit, just one behind his team-mate Mohamed Salah and two behind Aguero.
"There is no doubt Sadio has what it takes to finish as top scorer. He has been getting himself into great positions and the spark that was lacking from his game at times this season has been back in the last few home matches.
"Salah has not been at his brilliant best over the last few months and Mane has emerged as a vital player in Jurgen Klopp's side, with his goals and assists pivotal to where Liverpool end up in the Premier League and Champions League.
"I still fancy Harry Kane to get the golden boot as the Tottenham team is built around him scoring goals and Spurs are too good a team to continue to play as poorly as they have done in the last few weeks, but Mane should aim for top spot."
Aldridge was also encouraged by Liverpool's 4-2 win against Burnley on Sunday, as he suggested Klopp's attacking trio of Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino found form at a crucial moment of the season.
"I have been concerned about Liverpool's from three because they have not been working as a unit in the last couple of months, but there were good signs against Burnley," he adds.
"Salah looked sharp again after disappointing performances in the draws against Manchester United and Everton and Firmino was full of energy again on a day that Mane scored two more goals.
"If Liverpool are to have any hope of winning the Premier League title or the Champions League, they need their big three up front to shine and hopefully they have that boost of confidence now heading into the Champions League game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday."
Liverpool need a score draw in Munich to progress to the quarter-finals, after the first leg ended in a 0-0 stalemate at Anfield three weeks ago.