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Klopp Waxes Lyrical About Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah and Kostas Tsimikas of Liverpool on the bench before the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield on October 26, 2023 in Liverpool, England.   
Mohamed Salah and Kostas Tsimikas of Liverpool on the bench before the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield on October 26, 2023 in Liverpool, England.  
Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

After Mohamed Salah’s latest record-breaking goal, Liverpool head coach Jürgen Klopp spoke at length on the Egyptian’s impact and quality. At present, Klopp feels Salah’s confidence level is evident:

Yes, it’s obvious that he just enjoys the group. I think that’s an obvious thing. If you saw him on the bench, he wants to play, always! But he enjoyed as well watching the other boys, and then coming on and scoring the goal. I’m really happy for him. Of course he’s [been] an adult man already for a long time now, but he is growing with the role he has for us, and in football maybe in general. To show that to stay on [the] top level, it’s nice to enjoy the moment and then you go again – and that’s what he obviously is doing.

It was a wonderful goal, a really good goal. I didn’t know about the records, maybe he would have broken a few more records if I would be more into that, because I think I left him out once when he could have broken a record! It was not intentional, I’m just not too much in this. He broke the record tonight. If not tonight, he would have broken it next week or in two weeks, three weeks, that’s clear. He’s just such a good player. We appreciate him, and everybody will appreciate him for sure even more after his career because then you will realise, ‘Wow, we saw something really special’.

Looking beyond this present moment, where the winger appears to be gelling with the wider group perfectly, Klopp also touched on Salah’s development with the club over time:

The young Mo was a super-fast player who could go in behind, played at Roma together with [Edin] Dzeko. Dzeko controlled the ball or deflected it and Mo was there, stuff like this. Here, from the first day he had to do different things. He adapted extremely well. But the playmaker in that front row was probably more Bobby [Firmino] setting things up. And you don’t need then two players who are a bit deeper; it’s not that good anyway because you need players in the box, you need players who bring the ball over the line. Now it’s slightly different, especially with Darwin [Nunez] when he is playing, we have another speed player up there. So that changed Mo’s position, definitely, and he is smart enough to adapt to all these different things. Yes, massive development since he arrived, but he was in all phases world-class – and that is probably the best you can say about a player.

Finally, the Liverpool boss spoke on Salah’s potential in his thirties:

Off the pitch he behaves like a grown-up man, besides that he is just still a young player. It’s like that. He’s top fit. I think if we would really scan him, the majority of his bones are probably 19 or 20, because he just keeps himself in such a good shape. No, it’s with game understanding. That’s what we try to give young players. So, they all know an awful lot about football when they finish their career at 35, but the earlier you can get this information the more useful it is.

Obviously with Mo that’s clear, he understands the spaces much better, he knows how players react to him, and then if he cannot score he can still be a threat for us, and that’s really super-important. How I said, the Everton game obviously will not go down in history performance-wise, but then scoring two goals is massive. In other games, playing much better and not scoring but being constantly a threat, is for us as important because that really opens up spaces for all the other boys. You might be right, but I cannot compare Mo to other 30-odd-year-old players because I don’t think biologically he is [30s]!

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