Mohamed Salah has once again come under fire for his poor goal-scoring form in the Premier League this season and Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has once again risen to his defence.
The Egyptian, since his arrival at Anfield in the 2017/18 season from AS Roma, has been the benchmark for other Premier League attackers. He has also been the benchmark for how successful Liverpool’s season will be and any time he goes on a scoring drought – which tends to never last more than a few games – there is always worry.
The 2022/23 season, however, has been very different for the Egyptian forward. Playing with a new frontline and trying to recreate the chemistry that he enjoyed with Sadio Mane – now of Bayern Munich – and Roberto Firmino – now a squad player due to form and constant injuries – has dulled his sharpness and he is not firing on all cylinders.
This has led to theories of Salah’s overdependence on his former strike partners and doubts about his actual ability to win matches which he has displayed time and again.
Klopp, speaking to the media ahead of their next Premier League outing, was once again inundated with questions about Salah and once again defended his talismanic forward’s form like before a court of law.
Responding to questions about a possible loss of confidence by Salah, the German manager said: “Lost confidence? No, it’s how strikers are. All of them, when it’s going well and other moments when you have to go through these periods.
“I don’t think there’s much difference.
“We spoke last week in the press conference about all the changes we’ve had to make, changes up front. Every striker benefits from settled things, from patterns, everybody knows about. That, for sure, was more of a problem than other stuff.
“But, of course, when you don’t score for a while it’s true, you might not be on 100 per cent confidence level, but the desire to do it grows every hour, so that’s it.”
Salah will make his 200th league appearance for Liverpool on Saturday against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The match could see him make history if he scores, as he will equal Gordon Hodgson’s record of 126 goals in his first 200 appearances for the club.
Klopp has backed him to surpass the record against Wolves. “There’s no problem with him scoring and breaking that record – it’s a record to be broken. Mo has broken a lot so hopefully he can do this one as well.”