Jurgen Klopp has revealed that they learnt about Mohamed Salah’s ability to be an efficient striker ‘step by step’, after his purchase.
Last campaign, the former Chelsea flop scored 19 goals and 12 assists across all competitions playing predominantly as a winger, with Edin Dzeko the focal of the Giallorossi attack.
But owing to his newly-found ruthlessness in the final third, the Egypt international has thrived in the Kops’ dynamic forward line - alonsgide the duo of Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane - that has seen him operated down the middle on several occasions.
Salah’s haul of four goals in Liverpool’s 5-0 victory over Watford over the weekend took his tally to 36 goals and 10 assists in 39 games across all competitions this term.
“He [Salah] played more on the wing in Rome for example where he had a very dominant striker in [Edin] Dzeko. Nobody could know [that he could play as a striker]. We learnt it step by step. Without consistency, we couldn’t know for certain but in the pre-season, we knew," Klopp said.
“You need to learn as a team, ‘Where is he?’ because there isn’t always time for searching. I don’t know exactly how many goals he [Salah] has scored but obviously a few, so it’s normal that you talk about that. He’s not only a striker, and whatever only a striker is; only a finisher. It’s not like he is not involved in anything else. He’s a very interesting package.”
Klopp, however, said the 25-year-old will get no preferential treatments as he needs to continue to work hard as there is still ‘a lot to for him to come.’
“We will not treat him like, ‘You don’t have to train, Mo – just come on Saturday for the game and we’ll see you there at Anfield or whatever.’ He doesn’t want that. He’s exactly in the moment of his career but he knows there is a lot for him to come.”