Sadio Mane is more important to Liverpool than Philippe Coutinho, says Jamie Carragher, who maintains that the Brazilian will not be sold this summer.
The Senegal international scored the winning goal for the Reds on Saturday as they saw off Crystal Palace for their first Premier League win of the season, but Coutinho was left out of the squad due to a back injury.
The winger continues to attract interest from Barcelona, but when quizzed if Mane was more important to the Reds than his Brazilian team-mate, Carragher was inclined to agree.
“I’d make an argument for that, especially with the way Jurgen Klopp likes to play. I think he’s massively important,” he said on Monday Night Football.
“You see the goals that he’s got and his goals record for a wide player is phenomenal since he’s come to the club.
“All the other players on the list are top strikers in the Premier League. For Mane to be there, it shows his impact.
“If you compare him to Coutinho, who is a fantastic player which is why Barcelona want him, but if he carries on the way he is going, the top clubs around Europe will be looking at him because he has been a revelation since he came in.”
While Coutinho’s future is yet to be decided, former Liverpool defender Carragher does not believe the club will sell the winger at this late stage in the transfer window due to their own lack of activity.
“They will hang onto Coutinho now, of course. I don’t think there is any doubt now. I said a few weeks ago that they can’t sell him, but the problem is it becomes more political rather than the business of it,” he added.
“Liverpool have had such a poor window, they couldn’t be seen to be letting go of him. Now if Liverpool three big targets of Virgil Van Dijk, Naby Keita and Mo Salah had all come in the door, it may have been easier to prise him away.
“Even a supporter might have thought ‘120m for Coutinho?’ with the ability to go and spend that with a few weeks of the season to go, but they were never going to sell him because of the fact they had not bought enough players in.”