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Klopp Dismisses Salah's Chelsea Struggles

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Jürgen Klopp dismissed Salah's struggles at Chelsea as consequence of a talented player moving "too early" in his career.

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Wigan Athletic v Liverpool - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

New Liverpool signing Mohamed Salah is set to make a big impression this season with the pace and productivity that he can provide to double the trouble alongside Sadio Mané. Salah fits the needs of the team, but many have pointed to his struggles at Chelsea as a reason to be fearful. Jürgen Klopp, however, dismissed these concerns in detail.

Kevin De Bruyne is at Manchester City, Romelu Lukaku is at Manchester United, and Salah is now at Liverpool. All former Chelsea players at other top six clubs that have earned their moves through noteworthy performances at Wolfsburg, Everton, and AS Roma respectively. For Klopp, though, they probably all moved a little too early in their careers.

"A lot of players have shown it is quite easy to struggle at Chelsea. (Kevin) De Bruyne is one," Klopp pointed out. "The only thing that we really ignored was what he did at Chelsea. When he was at Basel we (Dortmund) played them and we didn’t know him. It was ‘what the f**k?’. It was unbelievable. The moment I said ‘let’s go for him’ he was already at Chelsea.

"Then he struggled at Chelsea because it was too early. Then he went to Fiorentina and then Roma. The question is ‘what did you not see in him?’ because he played all inclusive football. He was quick, he played a lot of games, he created goals and chances and he scored by himself."

Klopp also highlighted Salah's performances at international level, something that often goes unnoticed by observers. Being a star player for an African nation is a unique experience that comes with much pressure and expectation that can be unbelievably suffocating. Yet it's part of what makes Salah such an attractive attacking option for Klopp and Liverpool despite improvements that need to be made in the future.

"He was involved in pretty much everything for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations," Klopp said. "He had the free-kick also. He is a left footed player and we don’t have too many of them in the team. It all makes him really valuable for us.

"I’m happy for the moment but he needs to learn a lot. We have to start working on the physical part and the technical part."