Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Mo Salah sharpness and Joe Gomez importance
In the second part of his pre-Fulham press conference, Jürgen Klopp discussed the season ahead for Mohamed Salah and Joe Gomez.
The pair were among those to commit their futures to Liverpool during the summer by signing new long-term contracts.
Salah provided key contributions to all three of the Reds’ goals in last weekend’s FA Community Shield win over Manchester City, including scoring the second from the penalty spot.
And ahead of the Premier League opener against Fulham on Saturday, the manager was asked just how sharp the Egyptian is feeling and if it has helped that his future at the club is now settled.
“I don’t know 100 per cent but he’s in a really good shape and, yes, he’s happy to be here,” said Klopp.
“As clear as it was for him and I said a couple times in the end we will get this deal over the line, but it’s still an open thing and everybody talks about it and stuff like this.
“We are humans, it’s distractors, that’s how it is. But I didn’t see that it distracted him a lot, to be honest. Mo had one of the most intense seasons ever, with the African Cup and all the games.”
He continued: “After a few weeks’ holiday, Mo is always full of power, full of energy coming back. He came back in a good shape.
“And yes, knowing where he will be – I wouldn’t say the rest of his career because he’s probably a player who can play much longer – but for the next very, very important years of his career, yes, that gave all of us a boost and him as well.
“You’re right, he looked really sharp, good and in the whole pre-season, to be honest. Long may it continue – that would be really cool.”
Inside Training: Finishing practice in Thursday's session
- Want to watch this video? Subscribe to LFCTV GO now and you’ll also get first-team highlights and audio commentary, live Academy football, documentaries, boxsets and much more
Gomez penned a new deal in July, further extending a spell with Liverpool that began when he arrived from Charlton Athletic in 2015, and it was put to the boss that it could be a ‘big’ season for the No.2.
“For Joe, it’s most important that he stays fit and that’s what we try to help him with all we can – because that was the stop-and-go situations, not that he was like fit from the first day and I didn’t pick him just for quality reasons, that was never the case,” said Klopp.
“When he was constantly fit, he played an awful lot of games. We all know that last year we could rotate like crazy between the three of them [Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk] in the beginning, with Joey not fit. Then when he became fit, it worked really well.
“There were always reasons. And if he stays fit, then everything will be fine for him. He’s an outstanding player. Yes, he needs rhythm, like we all need rhythm, and we try to give him that, that’s clear.
“And yes, the good news is that when you have a massive blow, like it is with Ibou, you need to have solutions. Our solutions in the moment is the situation we have, so we are still there.
“How I said, always the same, you need to be lucky with injuries because we are very self-critical and think about what we could’ve done differently. But pretty much all, apart from the contact injuries which always can happen, they are all good reasons which we couldn’t influence, so that’s the case.
“It’s all OK for the moment but Joey committed his future to the club, so I can’t see why the next year should be so important for him to prove. He doesn’t have to prove [to] us. I wanted him to stay. He’s a top player and he will play football games for Liverpool, definitely.”