Liverpool receive a boost from Sadio Mane's presence in the starting XI even if he is not scoring or assisting goals, according to Emile Heskey.

The winger missed much of the Reds' poor start to 2017 as he featured for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

And, after enduring a disappointing return to domestic action when Jürgen Klopp's men were beaten 2-0 at Hull City, Mane underlined his importance in the very next game with two goals in an Anfield victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

But Heskey believes the 24-year-old's influence extends beyond simply finding the back of the net. 

"He was always going to be a miss, he's a huge, huge influence," the former Reds striker explained on the latest episode of LFC Later

"He's a great player and when you get him back and he's scoring goals like that you're obviously going to say he was a huge miss.

"Just having him on the pitch is great. 

"Down the years, we've always had players who have that influence [and] regardless if they're playing good, bad or indifferent they give you something mentally just by being on the pitch.

"He seems to be one of those players."

LFCTV GO: Watch the latest episode of LFC Later in full

Heskey also hailed the victory over Spurs as a sign of intent from Klopp and his team, though he is keen to see more consistency going forward.

"It showed intent after a not-so-good start to the new year," he added.

"It was nice to do it up against a team that is probably fighting in the same [bracket] as you. 

"To dismantle a team in that way shows intent but you obviously want to see a little more consistency with it but it's always nice to [win like that]."

LFCTV GO subscribers can watch the newest edition of LFC Later, featuring special guests Emile Heskey and Hollyoaks actor James Sutton, in full above. Not yet signed up? Click here to find out more.