Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits he has been a fan of Mohamed Salah for years and admits he tried to sign him for Borussia Dortmund years earlier.
The Reds broke their transfer record to sign Egyptian flyer Salah in a £36.9million deal from Roma – three years after the Reds missed out on signing the player from Basel.
At the time, Salah made the move to Chelsea, but he failed to establish himself there before resurrecting his career at first Fiorentina and then Roma.
But his career could have taken a very different turn, with Klopp admitting tried to bring him to the Westfalenstadion before he joined the Blues.
However, while Salah struggled to make an impact at Chelsea, Klopp insists that should be no marker of the player’s quality.
“A lot of players have shown it is quite easy to struggle at Chelsea. [Kevin] de Bruyne is one,” he said.
“The only thing that we really ignored [this summer] was what he did at Chelsea.
“When he was at Basel we played them and we didn’t know him. It was ‘what the f**k?’. It was unbelievable.
“The moment I said ‘let’s go for him’ he was already at Chelsea. Then he struggled at Chelsea because it was too early.
“Then he went to Fiorentina and then Roma [and proved himself].”
Klopp believes Salah will be an asset
Salah made a goalscoring start for Liverpool after netting in Friday evening’s 1-1 draw at Wigan, but the Reds manager questioned the winger’s defending and admitted he may need some time to learn Liverpool’s methods.
However, Klopp is confident the player will prove a huge asset to the club and the club’s new No 11 has the qualities to strengthen Liverpool’s attack.
“The question is ‘what did you not see in him?’ because he played all inclusive football,” Klopp added.
“He was quick, he played a lot of games, he created goals and chances and he scored by himself.
“He was involved in pretty much everything for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“He had the free-kick also. He is a left footed player and we don’t have too many of them in the team.
“It all makes him really valuable for us. I’m happy for the moment but he needs to learn a lot. We have to start working on the physical part and the technical part.”