Jamie Carragher has lauded Sadio Mane for his performances over the last 18 months and believes the Liverpool star will challenge John Barnes for a place in their best-ever XI.

The Senegalese forward opened his account for the 2020/21 Premier League season with a brace at Stamford Bridge which saw Liverpool run out 2-1 winners.

Carragher has been a long-time cheerleader of Mane and often labelled him as Liverpool's Player of the Year as they stormed towards the title last season.

Jordan Henderson was named as the Football Writers' Player of the Year, whilst Kevin de Bruyne scooped the PFA award.

However, after another brilliant performance down Liverpool's left, Carragher compared Mane to Barnes, a Liverpool legend.

The Englishman is widely regarded as the best left-winger to have played for the club but Carragher believes Mane will be a serious competitor whenever he ends his career at Anfield.

“I said he was the best player last year," Carragher told Sky Sports.

"But to be fair, Kevin De Bruyne got player of the year, and Jordan Henderson got the other one, but certainly for me, I thought Mane was Liverpool’s best player and it would’ve been very close in the run-in.

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"Certainly one of the top left-sided attackers in world football, there’s no doubt about that. I love him. I say this all the time.

"I always go back to Mane because he was the first big signing for Jurgen Klopp and that signing got Liverpool into the Champions League in Klopp’s first full season and without that, I don’t think it goes on from there.

"Then, other players come and there’s more revenue at the club. But he was the one who came initially and he’s been the one constant from day one. He’s a superstar.

"I was thinking of the headed goal there - I remember a goal John Barnes scored, I can picture Barnes heading in a goal for Liverpool. I think it was away at Aston Villa, coming behind himself and heading it in.

"I can picture a white kit. We love John Barnes, we’ve played with Barnes. He was always in Liverpool’s best-ever 11, wide-left. I think when Mane finishes, that is a serious discussion, and I cannot believe I’m saying it because John Barnes for me is like a God.

"But what that man has done since he’s come to Liverpool, he’s going to be really pushing John Barnes.”