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Southampton forward Moussa Djenepo aiming to be better than Sadio Mane

PREMIER LEAGUE By Mirror | June 4th 2020
Africa Cup of Nations 2019 - Group E - Mali v Mauritania - Suez Army Stadium, Suez, Egypt - June 24, 2019 Mali's Moussa Djenepo in action with Mauritania's Mohamed Yali [REUTERS/Suhaib Salem]

Southampton's Moussa Djenepo has identified Liverpool forward Sadio Mane as his idol - but thinks he can one day become even better than the Senegalese star.

Djenepo made the move to the Saints from Standard Liege last summer for a fee of £14m, and had scored two goals and created two assists in the Premier League before football was suspended.

Mane - who played for Southampton between 2014-2016 - is a strong contender for PFA Player of the Year following his superb performances for the Reds in their stellar season, with his 14 goals and seven assists in the Premier League a big factor in Jurgen Klopp's side march towards an inevitable title win.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Djenepo said he looks up to Mane, but thinks he has the potential to overtake him in ability one day.

"Sadio is a big inspiration for me," Djenepo said. "I like him, he's a very big player.

"In the future we will see. I will do my best to become the next Sadio Mane."

Djenepo also singled out Southampton teammate Danny Ings for praise after the experienced striker went out of his way to help him settle in on the south coast.

"It was a big motivation for me, that a big player like Danny took time to text you when you are young like I am," the 21-year-old added.

"It meant everything to me. Danny’s a very, very good guy. He’s given me so much advice in training, we smile together and I’m trying to teach him the French language as well!"

Despite Djenepo's largely positive debut season in the Premier League he was shown a straight red card in his last game before lockdown against Newcastle for a nasty first-half tackle on Isaac Hayden, meaning he is set to be suspended for the first games as the division returns.


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