Didier Drogba has taken a sly dig at Jose Mourinho while saluting Mohamed Salah, with the Liverpool forward now considered to be working with a manager prepared to show faith in him.
The Egypt international forward has been a revelation for the Reds this season, with a £36.9 million fee recognised as quite the bargain on the back of a 29-goal return.
Of those efforts, 22 have come in Premier League competition, with the 25-year-old proving to former club Chelsea that they were wrong to limit his opportunities back in 2014.
Mourinho was the man to both sign and sell Salah during a second stint at the Stamford Bridge helm, with the Portuguese’s handling of a promising talent questioned after his star showings in Italy and back in England at Anfield.
Drogba was a firm favourite of the Portuguese during his time with Chelsea, but even he admits that Jurgen Klopp has proved a better fit for Salah, telling The Sun: “He has always been a good player. We all knew he had it in him.
“Maybe now he works with managers who are more willing to give him more responsibility.
“If you look with his national team too, he is maybe the biggest player they have.
“In Italy, he did very well with a big club and now he has gone to England and he is doing even better. He has been fantastic.”
Drogba was among those to block Salah’s path at Chelsea, with the Ivorian striker having returned to west London for a second stint in 2014.
A fellow African was loaned out to Fiorentina in January 2015 amid a lack of regular game time, before sealing a permanent switch to Roma later that year.
He has gone on to star for club and country and is now earning widespread praise for his contribution to the Liverpool cause.
Drogba believes he could even go on to become captain material at Anfield, with his talismanic presence allowing him to lead by example.
“I think he has got it in him,” added the 39-year-old, who is currently with USL side Phoenix Rising.
“He is someone who you will respect if you share a dressing room with him.
“You expect a captain to put all the players together and you can see he does that.
“He seems quiet but being quiet does not mean he is not a leader. He leads by example.”