It’s definitely been Mo Salah’s season so far, and the accolades are still piling up. This week, Salah was named 2017 Arabic player of the year twice—in a Twitter poll launched by beIN Sports and by the Arabic Association of Sports Journalists.
In the latter, approximately 100 journalists agreed with all Liverpool (and Egyptian) fans about Salah’s qualities and the Egyptian international beat his closest rivals in the polling by approximately 400 points. And next week, Salah and Mané will be headed to Accra where Salah is probably going to be crowned CAF Player of the Year (they’re both nominated but Salah really is a shoo-in).
So, you know, a good end to 2017 for the player. Klopp is in full agreement, too.
“[His goalscoring] record is remarkable and the goals themselves are remarkable as well,” Klopp said following Salah’s brace against Leicester City. “I’d like to show you all the scouting footage we had from the games we saw. The second goal against Leicester—a goal like this was not involved. He is so physically strong.
“That second goal shows what confidence does. That is how a good moment feels. Strikers in a good moment know when they miss one chance that there will be another chance. When he passed [Harry] Maguire in the box in the first half, that situation was made for him but he shot into the stand. He’s not happy but his desire to score goals is at the highest level. He is angry at me when I take him off after 65 minutes or so. That’s the mentality you need.”
When asked if he was surprised by Salah’s impact on the team, Klopp said:
“100%. It was clear he would help us a lot because he makes us more unpredictable with different systems. He can play striker, second striker, the No 10; similar to Sadio Mané. He can play both wings and as a No 8, same as Phil Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.”
“We have different choices,” Klopp added. “Salah always plays a little more than a second striker. You’ll take that because it makes life uncomfortable for the opponent. They know if they lose the ball then Mané and Salah are running in the other direction.”
Here’s to a 2018 full of unpredictable and beautiful goals from Salah.