Jurgen Klopp reckons the inclusion of a traditional central striker in Roma’s team, Edin Dzeko, meant Mo Salah found it harder to get into the scoring situations he has at Liverpool, where Roberto Firmino is deployed as a false-nine.
Liverpool’s manager was discussing how the Egyptian has plundered 36 goals this term, having never previously reached 20 in a season for FC Basel, Chelsea, Fiorentina or Roma.
“He [Salah] played more on the wing in Rome for example where he had a very dominant striker in [Edin] Dzeko,” Klopp told Goal. “Nobody could know [that he could play as a striker]. We learnt it step by step. Without consistency, we couldn’t know for certain but in the pre-season, we knew,” Klopp said.
“You need to learn as a team, ‘Where is he?’ because there isn’t always time for searching. I don’t know exactly how many goals he [Salah] has scored but obviously a few, so it’s normal that you talk about that. He’s not only a striker, and whatever only a striker is; only a finisher. It’s not like he is not involved in anything else. He’s a very interesting package.”
In truth, we doubt anybody actually thought Salah would hit the heights he has in his first season.
Early on in the campaign, Liverpool fans were even criticising the 25-year-old for not being able to finish, which seems all the more hilarious when you look at the statistics.
Firmino and Sadio Mane undeniably help him score so regularly, though.
Bobby’s link-up play with Salah is exceptional, as are his unselfish runs that enable Mo to find space in the box.
Mane similarly has sacrificed his favoured right wing for Salah, so the team deserves credit as well.
Following his four-goal haul against Watford, there’s a high chance Salah will win the Premier League Player of the Year award.