"I think" - pundit tips Liverpool forward to win Ballon d'Or ahead of Karim Benzema

Gabriel Agbonlahor has tipped Sadio Mane to win the Ballon d'Or ahead of Kylian Mbappe, Roberto Lewandowski and Karim Benzema.

Speaking about the next Ballon d'Or winner, as cited by Anfield Watch's Twitter account, the former Aston Villa forward said that Mane could become one of the favourites to win the prestigious award.

"We will probably look at Benzema and Lewandowski, but I’m looking at Sadio Mane," said Agbonlahor. "He’s won the AFCON, got a chance of winning the Premier League, has won the Carabao Cup and could win the FA Cup and Champions League.

"And he’s scored a lot of goals this season. I know we’re looking at Benzema, but if they [Real Madrid] get knocked out by Man City then I think Mane would be the favourite to get it. I look at the way the Ballon d’Or is given, it includes trophies as well."

Anfield Watch Verdict

Even though Mane has been great this season, I think it's a push saying that he can compete with the likes of Lewandowski and Benzema.

Sadio has 19 goals and three assists for the Reds this season, meanwhile, Benzema has 41 goals and 13 assists for Real Madrid this campaign.

Previously, the Ballon d'Or had been about club trophies as well as individual stats, however, this meant that some players, like Jorginho, were placed higher up in the rankings due to their teams' achievements.

This led to fans being displeased with the results of the award. Last year there was a bit of a controversy after Mohamed Salah was placed in 7th, despite having a much better season than a majority of the people above him.

These controversies forced the hands of France Football and it seems like this year's Ballon d'Or will focus more on the individual's season and not take as much notice of the trophy haul with their respective club.

Saying that, if Sadio Mane helps Liverpool win the quadruple then there's definitely a shout for him to be quite high in the rankings.

Despite having a bit of a poor start to the season, the 30-year-old really started firing after returning from AFCON and he's been a key figure in Liverpool's squad ever since.

So who knows, we could see Sadio crowned the next winner of the Ballon d'Or this year.

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