Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has shared his analysis of Mohamed Salah’s struggles this season.
The Egyptian winger jointly won the Premier League Golden Boot last season with Son Heung-Min, scoring 23 goals. He has scored seven goals in 19 league games so far this season.
Salah has struggled to create the lethal impact he had last season with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Klopp believes this is down to the inconsistency on the Reds’ frontline.
Mane left the club to join Bayern Munich last summer. Liverpool hasn’t been helped by prolonged injuries to the likes of Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, and Luis Diaz.
Speaking about Salah‘s struggles, Klopp said (via Irish Times):
“Of course he is suffering. It was a well-drilled machine the front three; everything was clear what we were doing. Everyone suffers. It is specific, offensive play that requires a lot of work and a lot of information, and not always obvious information. You create a feeling about a lot of these things, about where your teammate is and where to pass the ball, no look or whatever.”
“That is not cool but we cannot expect just to be back to our best and win 5-0 and go to the next game. We have to work hard. No one wants to hear it but they have to do it.”
Klopp also explained how summer signing Darwin Nunez is different from the likes of Mane. He also stated that Liverpool can expect to be better in a few weeks with the return of some players. He said:
“In two or three weeks we hope to have a couple more options and we can mix it up. Now we have Cody [Gakpo], a really important asset, a connector; he can play the wing and the centre as well.”
“When Darwin is playing there he is obviously more high up, going in behind. We never played with a nine before – even when Sadio was there he was dropping in moments and that is not Darwin’s game. He wants to have other balls at his feet and he is a real handful there. It is all good if they would all be in and we could build something but we couldn’t do that.”
Liverpool signed Nunez from Benfica for a record €100 million last summer. He has registered 10 goals and three assists in 24 appearances across competitions this season.
Liverpool’s struggles are not limited to Mohamed Salah
While Salah’s form has certainly dipped this season, the Reds’ primary concern arguably lies in their midfield and defense. Their defense has been error-laden this season and the midfield has failed to create an impact on either end of the pitch.
Liverpool have let in 25 goals in the Premier League in 19 games so far, which is one less than they did in the entire 2021-22 campaign. They are ninth in the league table, a whopping 21 points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Klopp’s side will next take on Brighton & Hove Albion away in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday, January 29.
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