Mohamed Salah does not have a point to prove in this weekend’s match against Chelsea, Jürgen Klopp has insisted.
Salah spent a year at Stamford Bridge after joining from Basle in January 2014, but found opportunities hard to come by during his period there.
After making only 13 Premier League appearances for the Blues, the forward moved to Fiorentina on loan and then made a permanent switch to AS Roma in the summer of 2015.
And, following two-and-a-half prosperous seasons in Serie A, the Egypt international signed for Liverpool ahead of the 2017-18 campaign - with his 19 games for the Reds thus far yielding a hugely-impressive return of 14 goals.
Salah is set to face Chelsea for the first time since leaving them when Antonio Conte’s side visit Anfield on Saturday, but Klopp dismissed any notion that his No.11 will be spurred on by a ‘disappointing time’ in west London.
Instead, the boss reasoned that the 25-year-old merely faced a similar conundrum at Stamford Bridge to another player who has lit up the Premier League this season.
“Disappointing time? I really can’t get it. He was very young in a very strong team and it didn’t come through, that happens very often,” Klopp told his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“Another player in a similar situation is Kevin De Bruyne, [who is] doing not too bad for [Manchester] City now. Obviously it was difficult in these times to come in the [Chelsea] team, they had already a fantastic offensive team.
“They were successful in this time so nobody was to be blame for that, for sure not Mo. He took the next chance, he went on loan to Fiorentina and then made the transfer to Rome and then came to Liverpool, that’s an interesting way.
“He improved a lot, for sure, especially physical-wise. He was already a very good player, how I said a few times I saw him for the first time at Basle - he was already quick! But that is long ago.
“I don’t think he has to prove something, I don’t think he sees it like that because it’s a completely normal situation. As a young boy you can go there and can’t come through so you try to do it in a different way.
“He did it, in the end he succeeded so he is at Liverpool. If he would’ve played already better at Chelsea, we would not have him probably in this moment, so I’m happy about the situation.”