Jurgen Klopp has hailed Mohamed Salah as ‘world-class’ after the Liverpool forward set another goalscoring record.
Salah came off the bench to score Liverpool’s fifth goal in the 5-1 win over Toulouse on Thursday, a goal which saw the Egyptian move past Thierry Henry for the most goals scored for a Premier League club in European competition (43).
The 31-year-old has been in sensational form this season and leads the Premier League for goal involvements (11), having been at the forefront of Liverpool’s success since signing from Roma in 2017.
Ahead of this weekend’s clash with Nottingham Forest in the Premier League, Klopp was asked how Salah has matured as a player on route to becoming a Liverpool legend.
“The young Mo was a super fast player. From the first day he had to do different things, he adapted extremely well, but the playmaker in that role was probably Bobby [Firmino] setting things up,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.
“You don’t need two players who are deeper because you need players in the box and players to bring the ball over the line.
“Now it’s slightly different, especially with Darwin [Nunez] when he is playing. We have another speed player up there so that changed Mo’s position definitely.
“He is smart enough to adapt to all these different things. It is a massive development since he arrived, but he was in all phases world-class.”
Liverpool turned down a bid of £150m from Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad for Salah last summer, despite the forward turning 31 in June.
Klopp has no concerns regarding the Egypt captain’s potential decline however, praising Salah for the professionalism he demonstrates away from the pitch.
“Off the pitch he behaves like a grown up man but besides that he is just still a young player.
“He’s top fit, if we would really scan him the majority of the bones are probably 19 or 20 because he keeps himself in such a good shape.
“It’s with game understanding, that’s what we try to give young players. They all know an awful lot about football when they finish their career at 35 but the earlier you get this information, the more useful they are.
“With Mo that is clear, he understands the spaces much better, he knows how players react on him and if he cannot score he can still be a threat for us. That is really super important.
“The Everton game will not go down in history with performance, but scoring two goals is massive. In other games playing much better but not scoring, being constantly a threat is as important because that really opens up spaces for all the other boys.
“I cannot compare Mo to other 30-odd-year-old players because I don’t think biologically he is.”