Leighton Clarkson, the 19-year-old midfielder who was brought to preseason with the first team, was considered one of the best table tennis players of the whole bunch. But even Clarkson has to admit that there’s someone better than him with a paddle.
“I thought I was good and came here thinking, ‘Yeah, I can beat anyone,’” he boasted. “But Mo is a different level, he’s in a league of his own.”
It’s no surprise that Salah excels even in this area. Along with Salah, Clarkson also rates Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones as the top of the players on the team.
“I’ve seen Virg and Joe play, who look good but I’ve not played them yet. Trent and Curtis are the other ones I’d put in there, including me. So I’d say us six are probably the best. I’d say I’m around fourth.”
And if you thought that the table tennis ritual was a chill way to let off steam, think again. Once a competitor, always a competitor, and Clarkson admits that this is very serious business.
“Last night I played Trent and it was quite competitive, to be fair. He went and played Mo after it and got beat and there was a bat that was smashed, so you can understand how competitive it must be.”
We need that level of intensity in a few weeks when the Reds start their Premier League season.