Mohamed Salah returned from his summer vacation with a new trick.
“I think he found the right foot on vacation,” laughs Jurgen Klopp during an exclusive chat with sky sports ahead of the greats of Liverpool Monday night football Clash at Manchester United.
“He always develops. It’s really crazy. I know it came a few years ago and usually when a player comes from the outside in, he uses the inside of his foot to spin the ball and all of a sudden he had the throttle. in depth: Chelsea goal is quite remarkable.
“This year came with crosses on the right foot.”
Salah may be known for his remarkable goalscoring statistics, but he has always had the ability to provide opportunities for others.
That has gone to a new level recently, with the Egyptian coming off a 2021/22 season in which he recorded the highest attendance figures of his career with a personal best tally of eight chances created in Liverpool’s draw with Crystal Palace.
Salah is a Liverpool superstar. But her increased creativity is a reflection of her drive to keep improving.
“He’s obviously a great professional and he really tries to add things to his game,” Klopp said. “He’s a top, top, top striker and with the numbers that he put up, not only in terms of points but also in terms of assists, he’s great.”
Man Utd will be particularly wary of what Salah can do at Old Trafford.
Last season’s golden boot winner opened his account for this campaign with a late equalizer at Fulham. After scoring five times against Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side last season, he will be keen to add nine goals to his total against arch-rivals Liverpool.
One more and he will become the absolute top scorer in this outstanding match.
“I’m pretty sure he knows,” smiles Klopp.
“I didn’t know, but I’m pretty sure Mo knows, so good news!”
Despite all of Salah’s efforts, it was a surprising second-half goal from Luis Diaz that gave 10-man Liverpool a point against Palace on Monday.
The Colombian hit the ground running after arriving late in the January transfer window and has started this season quickly too.
That quick adaptation isn’t always the case for players entering the Premier League, but Klopp attributes his smooth transition to England’s top flight to the quality of Diaz.
“He had to play straight away because there were two kids at the African Cup of Nations, and that helped him adapt,” Klopp said.
“That gave him immediate confidence. It’s his quality, his talent, his skill set. He’s a really good player. We knew that before and when you’re really good it’s easier to adapt.”
“He has something special: he can score from outside the box, which for a striker is very important. It’s very, very important for us.”
Klopp’s reference to Diaz as a striker is interesting, especially given that Liverpool must do without £85m leader Darwin Nunez against Man Utd, following the Uruguayan’s red card on his debut at Anfield.
With Diogo Jota also out of action through injury, that suspension places additional responsibility on Salah and Diaz to deliver in front of goal, although Roberto Firmino is fit again and could return straight to the team.
There are also selection problems in defense and midfield.
With injuries and suspensions affecting Klopp’s line-up options, the Liverpool manager is taking nothing for granted ahead of the M62 trip.
He stops short of any discussion of last season’s 5-0 win there, which left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on edge and his team in shame. He says the shock 4-0 defeat of Erik ten Hag’s side at Brentford makes it difficult to predict how the Dutchman will approach this match.
“I don’t think about this kind of thing,” he says in reference to last October’s victory.
“It doesn’t make life easier when you get there now. It’s already a very, very, very important game, as if it wasn’t important enough before, for United and for us too, we’re not thrilled with our start.” .
“When you do the [pre-game] analysis you try to figure out what an opponent might do. We played against them in preseason and have seen them play twice. But I don’t know how many changes he will make, I don’t know if he will change the focus.
“But it’s early in the season, it’s always like that, you never know. For example, last week Crystal Palace played once before with five behind and now they play us with five behind. Interesting!
“We don’t know. You have to prepare for almost everything. But 100 percent it will be a very intense game and it has to be. You need good referees and things like this to keep it normal. It’s early but already really important.
“We give the players all the information they need, but in the end it’s all about what the boys bring to the pitch. In all the media, everywhere, everyone will remind United of the results we had last year. But I found out last year that they wouldn’t help for next year.
“We know what’s at stake and I’m pretty sure we’ll be ready.”
Man Utd’s approach may be difficult to anticipate, but with Salah and Diaz’s own unpredictability, that element of surprise could lead to another win on enemy territory to jump-start Liverpool’s season.
Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm; start 8pm