Peter Crouch reckons Sadio Mane has doubled his value in recent seasons, and boasts a “healthy competition” with Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah for goals.
The Salah and Mane rivalry seemingly hit a boiling point on August 31 during Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Burnley, where the latter fumed at his team-mate’s selfishness.
Although the pair have since patched things up between them, with Mane insisting on Tuesday that the incident is in the past.
And they were back on the scoresheet on Wednesday night with Mane’s ninth-minute opener putting Liverpool ahead of his old club RB Salzburg. Salah later bagged a decisive brace to seal a thrilling 4-3 Champions League win.
It enabled the Egyptian star to close to within one goal of Mane’s tally of seven goals for this season.
For Crouch, though, the latter’s progress since joining Liverpool in 2016 from Southampton has impressed him the most.
“He’s come on amazingly well, hasn’t he,” the ex-Reds striker told BT Sport.
“He’s scoring goals, he was up there as one of the top scorers in the Premier League last year, right up there with Salah.
“I don’t care what he says, there’s definitely a healthy competition between him and Salah for goals now.
“I just think he’s improved his all-round game. Obviously he was [always] incredibly fast, incredibly strong and pacy but sometimes he was a little bit wasteful.
“And he seems to, other than the weekend [against Sheffield United], he seems to have [changed that].
“Look at some of his finishes, a few seasons back he wouldn’t have dreamt of scoring goals like this. He’s different class.
“I think when he was signed I think people were talking that [Klopp] might have overpaid for him.
“I mean he’s worth double that now, easy.”
Mane and Salah will have another chance to add to their tallies in Saturday’s home match against Leicester City in the Premier League.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, conceded that they lost control over Salzburg after blowing a three-goal lead.