Heading into the African Cup of Nations, many Liverpool fans were wondering just how long they would be missing some of their key players, namely forwards Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah. With a bevy of cup matches, along with an unusual January international window, the hope was that the two players would only miss two Premier League matches unless they made it to the finals.
As it turned out, Sadio Mané’s Senegal and Mohamed Salah’s Egypt did indeed face each other in the trophy match. Senegal won the match in a penalty shootout, with Mané scoring the penultimate spot kick, while Salah didn’t even get a chance to take a shot as the fifth penalty taker for his team.
Mané and his Senegal teammates have traveled to Dakar for a celebration, meaning he will miss out on the Leicester City match set to take place on Thursday. Mohamed Salah, however, has said he wants to return to Liverpool immediately to join training ahead of the match, declaring himself ready to play.
Mohamed Salah has told Liverpool he will be back in training tomorrow, eager to play against Leicester City. https://t.co/pss5x45g1D— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) February 7, 2022
While Salah may want to jump back in to put the heartbreaking AFCON loss behind him, there is a good chance that Jürgen Klopp may keep Salah on the bench to start. On top of travel, Salah played 120 minutes in each of Egypt’s matches from the round of 16 on to the finals.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have shown they can share the goal scoring load, scoring at least two goals in five of the six games that Salah and Mané missed. Diogo Jota has scored three times during that stretch, as has Fabinho. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino have also chipped in with two goals each. New signing Luis Diaz is an additional forward option for Klopp should he want to rest Salah as Liverpool enter a stretch of six games in the next three weeks.