Mohamed Salah is “struggling” at Liverpool because he faces the same post-World Cup burnout problems as Manchester United star Paul Pogba, says Paul Ince.
Having swept his way to 44 goals last season, the PFA Player of the Year award and the Premier League Golden Boot, much was expected of an Egyptian sensation during his second year at Anfield.
Salah has, however, found the going a little tougher in 2018-19, netting three times in 11 appearances .
Ince believes an unfortunate injury suffered in a Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, which then saw him rushed back for international duty in Russia, has left the 26-year-old a little drained.
The former Liverpool and United midfielder feels the same can be said of France international Pogba, who has endured a testing campaign back at Old Trafford following a memorable summer in which he helped his country to global glory.
Ince told Express Sport : “Yeah, Salah’s struggling, but he’s an outstanding player.
“You can’t drop him as you need to keep those three [Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane] together.
“He was injured at the end of last season and maybe wasn’t fully fit for Egypt.
“I know Pogba was great for France but he’s not been as impressive for United. That could be because of the World Cup.
“I’ve played in these tournaments and they’re far from easy. They’re draining and can be exhausting.
“That could be why Salah is struggling and possibly Pogba too.”
Liverpool are hoping that Salah will be available to them once domestic action resumes after the international break.
They saw their star forward pick up another untimely injury during an outing for Egypt on Friday.
Salah scored direct from a corner in a 4-1 win over Swaziland, but was forced off after picking up a muscle complaint.
Egypt assistant coach Hany Ramzy told beIN Sports afterwards: "The initial diagnosis, according to the team doctor, is a strong muscle strain. It is not a tear. I think it is not serious."
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that is the case, with Salah back in England for assessment , while Jose Mourinho can be expected to throw Pogba straight into Premier League competition when United travel to Chelsea on Saturday.