'Salah is the most attacked player in the Premier League' - Klopp wants 43-goal star protected

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The Liverpool boss believes his talisman is often targeted for rough treatment, with referees doing little to aid the cause of an honest performer

Liverpool’s 43-goal forward Mohamed Salah is “the most attacked player in the Premier League”, according to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

The Egypt international has enjoyed a remarkable return to English football, with the former Chelsea flop establishing superstar status at Anfield.

Records have been sent tumbling by the 25-year-old during a stunning debut campaign on Merseyside, with his efforts having sparked Ballon d’Or talk.

Salah did draw a rare blank in his latest outing, as Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw by Stoke, but his manager believes that more needs to be done to ensure that he continues to flourish in the future.

After seeing his talismanic winger limping towards the end of a stalemate with the Potters, and with late penalty appeals having been waved away after Erik Pieters grabbed hold of Salah’s arm, Klopp told reporters: "Mo is the most attacked player probably in the Premier League but he deals with that.

"I am not responsible for judging the rules, that is the ref and if he thinks that is OK and sets that level I cannot change it.

"It is not a grey area. It is rules. If it is a foul, it is not a grey area.

"It is football, it is physical but if it is too much, it is too much: free-kick, yellow card, whatever. I cannot change that."

Salah has been fouled just 28 times this season, but that Premier League tally would likely be considerably higher if he went to ground every time he was touched.

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Instead, an honest performer does his utmost to retain possession and pose as much of a threat as possible.

That approach has served him well so far, but Liverpool are understandably eager to see him given greater protection.

The Reds have been fortunate to see Salah steer clear of fitness issues this season, with only a slight groin problem having offered them cause for concern in early April.

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