Jürgen Klopp insists he hasn’t been surprised by Mohamed Salah’s seamless transition into life at Liverpool – because he expected this kind of form from the winger when he was signed from AS Roma in the summer.
The Egyptian took his tally to 17 goals in just 21 games with a brace against Stoke City on Wednesday evening, 12 of which have come in the Premier League making him the division’s leading scorer.
“Yes, he’s in a good moment - and hopefully he will stay in this good moment - that’s much more important for us,” Klopp said during his pre-Brighton press conference, when asked about Salah’s impact.
“No, how could I still be surprised by his impact? He’s been here for a few months already and was from the first day already involved in everything in the team.
“He’s been very open to things, which for him are new - what we’ve done in training, the intensity of the league compared to Italy but he played already on the highest level for the last two or three years, only in another country. Maybe it’s a surprise for English people that if you can be good in another league, you can still be good in the Premier League!
“It’s what we were hoping for when we signed him and that we’ve got it, it makes it even better.
“As with all players in the world, you need the other players to be in the situation too. It was fantastic dribbling and a cross from Sadio for the first goal and then it looked quite cool and relaxed when he finished it. But Mo knows for himself that you need to be in a good moment to take the ball like this.
“You can have the same situation five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 times in your career and it will look always a little bit different. I was very happy that he could score like he did, so all good in this moment.”
Salah has already netted more goals than Liverpool’s previous top scorers for the past three seasons, leading to parallels with Luis Suarez, who bagged 31 times during the 2013-14 campaign.
However, Klopp gave any such comparisons short shrift when put to him at Melwood.
He said: “I’m not interested. I respect Luis Suarez a lot, he’s a Liverpool legend. Fantastic player still, I like his attitude and he’s style of play but he’s not a Liverpool player anymore. It’s not that I have to compare players.
“We have a lot of players who have a big impact on performances, so that’s a story for newspapers, for social media and stuff - I’m not even a little bit interested in this.”
Such is the standard of Salah’s form, the No.11 is already being talked about as a potential Player of the Season winner – but Klopp was eager to point out there is a long way to go before the accolades are handed out at the conclusion of the campaign.
“The important word in this is ‘season’ - we’re not even halfway into the season,” said the boss.
“If he can continue like this, then probably he will be in the mix-up and hopefully it will be like this, but there’s a few yards to go still.”