Jurgen Klopp admits he has no concerns over Mohamed Salah after his frustrating day in front of goal in Saturday’s draw with Chelsea.
The Egyptian was replaced by Xherdan Shaqiri in the 66th minute after struggling to supply the required final-third conviction as Liverpool went in search of an equaliser.
Salah cleverly created a number of first-half openings for himself as he produced superb movement through the middle to split Chelsea’s midfield and defence.
He often did well to conjure space and cut inside on his left foot, only to see his eventual strike fail to trouble Kepa between the sticks.
Discussing the decision, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “Changes when nobody is injured are always tactical. He was not injured.”
“It was not Mo’s best game of his career, 100 per cent, but coming in a game like this, constantly in situations like he comes in, that makes a world-class player.”
He added: “You fail, you miss or whatever, that happens – no problem with that, how I said. But I want him to want to be decisive, to want to score in these situations, but you could really see the first ball he missed then it was not in the right position.”
“Things like this happen, it’s like riding a bicycle. It’s not that you wake up in the morning and you cannot finish anymore or ride a bike anymore. That’s how it is, you only need to work for these moments when it’s clicking.”
Salah’s remarkable 44-goal debut season at the club always threatened soaring expectations of his form heading into the current campaign.
Though the forward hasn’t managed to match the heights of 2017/2018 so far, his performances have often been wrongly perceived.
He may not be producing the same landmark figures, but he remains an ever-present attacking threat and one that continues to demand special attention.
When that familiar conviction returns, and it will, Liverpool’s Premier League rivals are in for a ruthless reminder of his talent.
He is still manufacturing multiple goal-scoring opportunities and looking as explosive as ever on the counter-attack. All that is missing is that finishing touch.