The appearance of Mo Salah at Liverpool’s AXA training centre had Virgil van Dijk near jumping for joy – a feeling shared by Jurgen Klopp, who suggested that minutes against Leicester would be more than possible for the No.11.
With Sadio Mane not set to return to the squad until Thursday, however, following Senegal’s historic AFCON win, the German was forced to rule out the 29-year-old’s involvement in the side set to face Leicester City midweek.
“Yes, yes. Sadio no chance as he’s not even here, but Mo yes,” the ex-Mainz boss told the club’s official website.
“Sadio flies out if it’s possible on Wednesday night, so will arrive here on Thursday but he is, of course, then not involved in the Leicester game.
“It means the world to him, it means the world to his people, it means the world to Senegal and we respect that a lot and we would never consider to have called back him from there or whatever – let them do what they do in the moment because they deserve it.”
The Merseysiders currently find themselves nine points behind league leaders Manchester City, with an opportunity to cut down the deficit, depending on how the Citizens fare against Brentford on Wednesday.
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It’ll be a significant absence for us coming up against Brendan Rodgers’ inconsistent Foxes outfit, though certainly not one Reds should be panicking over in light of the form of our backup options.
Luis Diaz too, newly signed from FC Porto, has already demonstrated what he’ll look to bring in the famous red shirt, with his superb high pressing in the second-half of action against Cardiff City singlehandedly creating a goalscoring opportunity, which Taki Minamino duly converted.
The availability of Mo Salah will no doubt also provide us with exactly the kind of adrenaline shot in the arm needed to build up some momentum as we await the return of our Senegalese speedster.
#Ep32 of The Red Nets Podcast: Portuguese football expert’s exciting Diaz analysis, rating our transfer window… and more!