Wednesday 17 January 2018

Mo Salah or Luis Suarez? - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has his say

The Egypt international's goalscoring feats and all-round impact in matches have inevitably seen him likened to Uruguay forward Suarez

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring

Timothy Abraham

Jurgen Klopp claimed he is "not interested" in making comparisons between Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah and former Reds player Luis Suarez.

Salah, 25, has made a fine start to his Liverpool career since a £36.9m switch from Italian side Roma in the summer with 12 goals in 14 Premier League appearances following a brace against Stoke City during the week.

The Egypt international's goalscoring feats and all-round impact in matches have inevitably seen him likened to Uruguay forward Suarez, who established himself as a key player during his time at Anfield.

After 21 games across all competitions during the 2012-13 season, Suarez had 13 goals to his name and would go on to end with 30.

Salah has 17 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions - no other Liverpool player has reached that total in the whole of any of the last three seasons.

Liverpool manager Klopp, however, was not keen to draw parallels between Salah and Barcelona's Suarez.

“I am not interested,” Klopp said ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion. “I like Luis Suarez’s attitude and style of play but he is not a Liverpool player any more. I respect him a lot. He is a Liverpool legend. He is a fantastic player, still a fantastic player.

“It’s not that I have to compare players. We have another player in Mo who has had a big impact on performances. It’s a story for social media and newspapers, I am not a little bit interested in it.”

Klopp said he has not been shocked by Salah’s devastating performances since he move to Merseyside.

“How could I still be surprised by his impact?” added the German. “He is here for a few months already and fitted in from the first day into the team and everything. Mo is very open for all the things and the new things we did in training as well as the different intensity of the league.

“He has played already on the highest level the last two or three years only in another country. It’s a surprise for English people if you are good in another league you can still be good in the Premier League.

“That’s what we hoping for when we signed him. That makes it even better. But as all players in the world you need other players to be in the situation.”

Klopp revealed that centre-back Joel Matip is set to miss Liverpool’s trip to Brighton through injury while midfielder Adam Lallana is not fully match fit following his recent return from a long-term hamstring injury.

“It looks like Joel Matip is out. After the game he felt something, muscle wise. We have to make a final assessment but looks like he is unavailable,” Klopp added. “Ragnar Klaven was ill but hopefully isn’t any more. It’s not a big choice for defence. That’s the situation. Adam Lallana is still building up fitness. We have a few knocks.”

Klopp also insists that even if Manchester City continue to look like they will run away with the title he would not expect Liverpool’s performances to dip.

“There should be no doubts about motivation,” he said. “We know about our responsibility and want to achieve the maximum in the season. If City carry on winning like they do there is no chance for anyone. But that’s not our problem. Our situation is good enough to work with.”

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