Jurgen Klopp has congratulated Mo Salah after the Egyptian was named the PFA Men’s Player of the Year and explained why the Liverpool star is a ‘deserved winner’ of the accolade.
The 29-year-old picked up the award for the second time (after also winning it at the end of the 2017/18 campaign) after enjoying yet another stellar campaign for the Reds – the No. 11 netted 31 goals and registered 15 assists across all competitions.
“What I really love about this prize is that it’s voted for by the players,” Klopp said (as quoted by the club’s official website). “That’s the one prize that you should be interested in.
“Whatever the supporters say, your own supporters always say, ‘Oh you’re the greatest’ and all the others say, ‘How can he win it?’
“So, in Mo’s case obviously it’s the numbers, scoring goals. But scoring the most goals and having the most assists, with all the ups and downs during a season, all the things I know about football, that’s a deserved winner.”
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Ever since arriving from AS Roma back in 2017, the Egypt international has reached insane levels for the club and has picked up every major trophy possible during his time on Merseyside.
Whilst watching Salah play for the Italian outfit, Klopp explained that he was ‘excited’ by the idea of working with the winger but admitted the Egyptian King needed to improve to become ‘the finishing monster’ that he is today.
“I saw that [how he could improve] when we scouted him, when I saw a lot of videos of Mo. Let me say it like this, he was not the finishing monster we see now,” the former Borussia Dortmund boss added.
“I was incredibly excited about the chance to work together with him. We spoke, yes, that was a very good talk but obviously we all need longer to know about a person.
“The moment I knew it will be outstanding [was] when I knew him as a person, because he’s full of desire, he never will stop developing and he’s a workhorse.
“I know we say it a lot but he’s really the first in – maybe around Millie, maybe Millie beats him from time to time – and he’s the last out. So treatment, gym work, all these kinds of things.
“On the pitch, if you tell Mo because of the intensity of the games, ‘Mo, you go in now. Thank you very much’. ‘I’m good, I’m good, get me another 10 balls.’
“So he deserves it absolutely, and that’s why he’s the second-time winner of this wonderful trophy. Well deserved, Mo, by the way!”
Salah was one of six Reds to be named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year after he registered the most goals and assists in the English top flight this term.
Klopp will now turn his attention to ensuring the 2022/23 campaign isn’t Salah’s last in a Red shirt.
His current deal expires at the end of the next season and there is yet to be an agreement between the club and the player over a contract extension.
He’s recognised as one of the best players in the world at the moment so it would be a huge blow to only retain his services for one more year.
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