Sadio Mane is still basking in the glory of his injury time winner in the Merseyside derby.
The Reds star is Liverpool’s leading goalscorer this season and has helped the club cope with Philippe Coutinho’s absence.
Yet, he too will soon be missing as he heads to the African Cup of Nations.
The Senegal international will be available against Stoke, Manchester City, and Sunderland, but he will then be away until at least January 23 – and that’s if his country are knocked out in the group stages, which is unlikely.
The positive is that Daniel Sturridge is now fit again, so Mane believes his side will cope well without him.
“I would love to carry on playing with my team-mates and help my team but I think they will understand because it is my country and it is my dream,” he told Sky Sports.
“I will be wishing them good luck but without me the team will be the same. Even better I think. They will cope. Coutinho will come back. Matip will come back and Sturridge is back now.
“I am very happy for him [Sturridge]. It has not been easy for him being out, he has had a lot of injuries, but you know he can deliver important performances for the team.
“That is why the team will be strong [while I am away].”
Mane has scored eight goals this season, while Sturridge is yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League. Nonetheless, if Liverpool are to win the league, they need an out-and-out striker who is going to score at least 20 goals, so this could well be Sturridge’s time to shine.