There’s plenty to quibble about with Liverpool if you’re a quibbler. There’s been more than enough head-scratching decisions at Liverpool since the summer. But in and amongst that tornado of anxiety that darts through supporter’s brain nuggets, there stands Mohamed Salah. But for a brief moment. And then he’s off again on another lightning sprint down the pitch.
Salah has come into the team just as Sadio Mané did. With speed and agility. Both are very direct but are by no means simple speed merchants. Their combinations with Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, specifically, have turned this Liverpool team into an attacking powerhouse. An attacking powerhouse that has struggled at times to convert it’s chances. But an attacking powerhouse, nonetheless.
“He needed half an hour at Watford, that’s it,” Klopp said of Salah’s quick acclimation to the squad.
“The first few challenges it looked like he was not heavy enough, strong enough for these challenges in the league. It can be difficult. And from this moment on he was in the league.
Of course, Liverpool isn’t Salah’s first bull ride in the rodeo, having spent an uneventful spell in London with Chelsea. But he moved on from England, worked on his game and had become a burgeoning star with Roma when the Liverpool brain trust decided to sign him up.
“It was a fantastic job by the scouting department. It’s not that I didn’t know Mo Salah, of course. Everybody knew him. I knew him since he was at Basel.
“But to see the difference, to see his development in different things. We all together then had to make the judgement. How can we compare the Italian league with the English Premier League? And all the rest is Mo Salah.
The Egyptian forward has been hugely impressive in Klopp’s set-up. He is always dangerous going forward, driving at defenders. But he plays with his head up and has been a quick study at reading his teammates’ movements and positions in the final third.
“And it always helps if you settle as a person very quickly,” added Klopp. “It helps you settling as a player. And I don’t think he needed even half an hour to settle in the team.
“Hopefully he can stay fit.”