Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is relaxed about Mohamed Salah’s goal-scoring drought, saying the Egyptian forward remains a key part of the title chasers’ attacking armoury.
Salah, who scored 44 times in his maiden season at Anfield, has gone eight matches without finding the net.
But he still has 20 goals in 2018/19, and played a pivotal part in the last-gasp winner against Tottenham on Sunday.
“When everybody is talking about ‘he didn’t score in I don’t know how many games’, he doesn’t seem to be bothered about it. I’m not,” Klopp said on Wednesday.
“For sure, we didn’t really speak about it. I think if something is clear and obvious, you do speak about it. How do you deal with a situation when he scored 40 goals last year?
“His career’s not over. It’s like if he can score this year 20 goals, then he’s scored 60 in the last two. Wow, that’s not too bad.”
Salah’s success last season means he has attracted more attention from opponents in the current campaign, often being double-marked.
It has had the effect, though, of benefiting teammates, with Sadio Mane (20 goals) and Roberto Firmino (14) taking on some of the burden.
Smiles and hugs all round. 😄❤🤗— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 2, 2019
Another special episode of Inside Anfield now available. 👇
“Sometimes you need a bit of time to adapt to the new situations, and I don’t think he really needed that,” said Klopp on Salah’s overall value to the side, and how he has coped with the close attention.
“He’s a threat. He helps us a lot. He deals with all the new situations for him really well.
“If you have only one (goal-scorer), you think maybe you rely a bit too much on that. This year we don’t rely on Mo’s goals, but he’s still in a very good position in comparison to all the other players.
No place like home ❤️— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 3, 2019
Let’s keep it going 👊 pic.twitter.com/LEtAKOCvGa
“Seventeen (league) goals is a good number, and there are still a lot of games to come. But it was never a problem. We have 79 points – you cannot have that with a lot of problems over the year.”
Liverpool travel to Southampton on Friday, and Klopp reported a clean bill of health after a minor injury worry over defender Virgil van Dijk following the win over Tottenham.AFP