Liverpool have been dealt a potentially big blow in their pursuit of Champions League football as forward, Sadio Mané, has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

The Senegal international picked up the injury in his team’s 3-1 victory over Everton in the Merseyside derby last Saturday. Reds manager, Jürgen Klopp, confirmed Mané’s status during his team’s pre-match press conference on Friday.

“Sadio will, we’re pretty sure, need surgery. We’re not 100 percent sure when it will happen, but it is clear his season is over. That’s what I expected, actually, when I saw the video after the game. I thought he was lucky in this situation that not more happened, but it will be pretty much impossible that he will play again this season.” – Jürgen Klopp

Mané has arguably been Liverpool’s best player this season since coming over from Southampton last summer. The 24-year-old has notched 13 goals and five assists in 27 appearances, with six of those goals coming against top seven opponents (two against Arsenal, Spurs and Everton each).

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 19: Sadio Mane of Liverpool beats Joel Robles of Everton as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on December 19, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Liverpool visit Stoke City in third place, six points ahead of fifth place Arsenal in the race for the top four with seven rounds remaining. However, Arsenal have a pair of games in hand.

Klopp also said midfielder, Philippe Coutinho, is a doubt for the trip due to illness, while midfielders, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson, remain out injured.

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