Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp feels the weight of the Salah burden

Salah has already scored more goals in less than half of a season than his fellow Egyptian Mohamed Salah. (Getty Images)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp claims it’s the hardest thing he’s had to do since taking over at Anfield – to forget about his two most valuable and celebrated players.

The former Borussia Dortmund manager has said it’s all very well telling Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho what to do and praising them for all the right reasons.

But in the midst of five seasons that have seen both Ibrahimovic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic establish themselves as the most famous and best players in the Premier League (though Zlatan’s previous stint at Barcelona may have been more appreciated in England), it is still rare for Klopp to not have Zlatan or Salah on his player list.

Klopp is so used to having two of the best players in the world on his books that in recent times Salah has received only the odd mention in team meetings, with Klopp mostly having full minds to concentrating on the game at hand and not to mention, the brilliance of Coutinho.

But when Salah has failed to score at all in the last two matches, not only do Klopp’s team on-field performances improve, but also so does the manager’s ability to keep focus on the task in hand.

The biggest test for Salah in recent weeks is that of his own ability to be the important creative piece in Klopp’s continually impressive and effective changing of the defensive and attack structure of the team.

The most important player in the Liverpool team so far is Roberto Firmino. (Getty Images)

In the goalless draw at Tottenham, Salah produced a 24th minute strike worthy of mention, but it was Sturridge’s drive and dangerous delivery from a free-kick, which allowed Trent Alexander-Arnold to whip in the resulting corner for Salah to head home.

Similarly in the 3-0 victory over Watford, Salah won the game for the Reds with a strike on the turn just before half-time.

It was the biggest contribution of a game that saw Roberto Firmino establish himself as the most important player in the team.

Like Coutinho, Firmino’s every touch is greeted with applause and a sense of satisfaction from Klopp and his players. He has already scored more goals in less than half of a season than Salah has in the last 24 months.

Salah did have a chance to double his tally in the defeat to Manchester United but missed a simple first half effort that would have put Liverpool back on track, but rather than showcase Salah’s talent, he did the same silly mistake that will be written about in future Liverpool round-ups.

The side-footed effort after Coutinho’s great ball towards him completely missed him and went out for a throw-in, showing an obvious lack of confidence, or fear, which will undoubtedly not help Salah at all this season.

It’s these errors that the headline writers will mention when assessing Salah’s form of the season and regardless of what form he is in, this problem is likely to persist for at least the next six weeks as the performance of both players is closely examined for signs of his adapting to life in the Premier League.

But although those mistakes are in the headlines, there is no doubt that both Salah and Coutinho are key cogs in Klopp’s machine and both his careers in England are on track for record breaking ground.

With Liverpool challenging for the title and then, perhaps, the Champions League, Salah’s chances of making football history are clearly looking good.

And those who want to downplay his value should just hold onto the memory of Salah’s stunning volley against Bournemouth from last month.

From a pathetic cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Egyptian left Artur Boruc at full stretch with an effort that will live in the memory for a very long time.

Indeed, another glimpse of it has been listed at the top of the tournament for the Foxes, who Salah’s arch-nemesis Danny Drinkwater referred to as ‘doing the Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo thing,’ and into the folklore of all football fans for many a year to come.

Any way you slice it, Salah has been worth the splurge that Liverpool are spending on him and at a very early stage in his time in the Premier League it is looking more and more like, he will indeed, be the biggest bargain of the summer in England.

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