Mohamed Salah is '100 per cent' worthy of being named Player of the Year but Jürgen Klopp has urged the Liverpool star to enhance his chances by continuing his stunning form.
The Egyptian struck an 84th-minute winner for the Reds at Crystal Palace on Saturday to upgrade his statistics to 37 goals in 42 appearances since joining the club last summer.
Many suggest it will be a straight fight between Salah and Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne when individual accolades are handed out at the end of the campaign.
The two men are set to be key protagonists as Liverpool and City face off in the Champions League quarter-finals, too, with the first leg at Anfield on Wednesday night.
And while Klopp is backing his own player for top recognition, the boss argued Salah can hammer home his claim by maintaining such prolific levels until May.
“I think Mo would deserve it 100 per cent,” he said. “As his manager, I’d say, ‘come on, prove it by playing at this level for the rest of the season’. That’s how it is.
“Both players have played an outstanding season with obvious highlights; scoring goals and creating chances – which is what everyone wants to see.
“I am happy that I don’t have to make this decision. Yes, Mo would deserve it. But if I said now that Kevin de Bruyne should have no chance I’d be lying. He’s a fantastic player and City will be champions, so he has a trophy. Maybe we can at least win the other one.”