Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp slams Mohamed Salah claims with ‘exceptional’ unseen Liverpool point, amid key Prem title blow

Mohamed Salah, October 2022

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Mohamed Salah critics need to appreciate that he is not all about goals, amid the focus on his performances.

The Egyptian has struck 161 goals in 265 Reds appearances to lay down a marker over his importance in the team. What’s more, he has hit 30-plus goal hauls in each of the past two campaigns.

But despite four goals in 10 matches this campaign, critics have pointed to his seemingly wider role than usual.

Salah has faced flak for not affecting the game as much as he has done in recent blistering campaigns at Anfield.

However, Klopp has insisted that amid Liverpool’s poor overall form, it is not as if Salah is lagging so far behind his team-mates for his impact.

“I hope we are close to exploding [into form], let me say it like this,” the manager said ahead of Sunday’s clash with Arsenal

“But it’s not about that, you can say what you like about Mo Salah and you can say ‘is he having a great season?’ but it’s like so many others.

“Whose season is it now for us? No-one yet because we have a picture in our mind of how we are and we need to use it. They are human beings.”

Klopp added that Salah – who has registered three Premier League assists this term – offers much more to his team than just goals.

Salah much more than just goals

“We need to perform as a team and make sure everyone can perform as the best version of themselves and that is the idea around the whole thing,” Klopp added in a press conference.

“With Mo it is like this: Even if his goalscoring numbers aren’t crazy, it’s always about how often he is involved in the offensive situations.

“It’s just the problem that if you don’t score around that then nobody appreciates that. Not scoring? But how about two or three key passes that are exceptional?”

Klopp also rejected comparisons between Salah and Manchester City striker Erling Haaland. The Norway star has netted 15 Premier League goals already this season.

“Nobody in the world can compare with Haaland and the situation at the moment, it is crazy what he is doing,” Klopp said. “He’s an exceptional player in an exceptional team so I don’t think we should compare now in this moment with that. I don’t anyway, so it’s all fine.”

Liverpool unlikely to be champions – Klopp

Liverpool started the Premier League weekend in ninth, but Bournemouth’s win over Leicester pushed them to 10th.

Klopp said: “From this point, does it look like we will be champions at the end of the year? Unfortunately not. Yes, this is a difficult time. Did I think we’d be ninth after match day seven? No.

“But this is the place where we are now and we must go from here. If there is one club that has a chance to go through it, then it’s us.

“In all other competitions, we are not out yet. Nobody knows where we end up in the league, so just give it a go. That’s it. Difficult yes, impossible no. So let’s go from here.”

Reds need big win to restart season

Liverpool have won four out of 10 matches this season, beating Bournemouth, Newcastle, Ajax and Rangers.

The wins over the Cherries and Rangers were ones in which the Reds dominated from start to finish.

They only scraped past Newcastle and Ajax with late winners.

But despite the two convincing wins, it does not feel as if they have propelled Liverpool to the heights they know they can reach.

Indeed, it feels like a bigger, more of a statement, win will do that. And victory away at high-flying Arsenal would certainly be enough to kick-start their season.

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