Sadio Mane of Liverpool in action during the UEFA Champions League group E match against Sevilla.
Liverpool received a major blow ahead of their return to Premier League action against Manchester United this weekend with the news Sadio Mane faces up to six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
It is an absence that former Reds midfielder Paul Ince believes will be felt more harshly in the team than if Philippe Coutinho was missing.
Dan Walker and Paul Ince speak prior to The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Derby County and Leicester City.
"Sadio Mane being out for six weeks is bad news for Liverpool - he's a much bigger loss than Philippe Coutinho would be," Ince was quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"Mane is much more involved in the game from start to finish. Without him, Liverpool's side is a lot weaker - he's vital."
Sadio Mane of Liverpool (L) celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Philippe Coutinho.
This is a big call to make by Ince to distinguish so greatly between the two players widely believed to be the side's best, but the statistics suggest the 49-year-old may have a point.
Since the start of last season, when Mane joined the Merseysiders from Southampton, with the Senegal international in the team they have won 19 of their 32 league matches at an average of 2.1 points per game and a win percentage of 59.3. Without him that drops to six in 13 and 1.7 points per game and a win percentage of 46.2.
In contrast, during the same period with Coutinho in the team the side have won 17 of their 31 league outings with average points of 1.9 per game and a win percentage of 54.8. Yet without the Brazilian they have won eight of their 14 fixtures and points per game jumps up to 2 and the win percentage is 57.1.
When Mane doesn't play Jurgen Klopp's men are significantly worse off in terms of the points they collect, but when Coutinho is absent they are actually slightly better in that department.