Jurgen Klopp has warned Premier League opponents Mohamed Salah can still get better despite the Egyptian’s record-equalling first half-season.
The 25-year-old summer signing took his tally to 23, matching Roger Hunt’s 1961/62 club record of goals before the new year, with both goals as the Reds came from behind to beat Leicester 2-1.
Salah has scored 17 in the Premier League, one behind Tottenham‘s Harry Kane, and averages a goal every 94 minutes.
However, Klopp sees much more room for improvement.
“Yes, he can keep that standard, for sure. He is still a young player, he can improve,” the German said.
“It’s not about scoring only, it’s about other situations as well.
“He’s so important for us but he knows and I know that he couldn’t score if he didn’t have the fantastic support of all the other boys.
“We played fantastic passes. Sadio Mane‘s idea in the moment before Mo scored the first goal I don’t think a lot of people in the stadium saw that it would be an opportunity. That was really important.”
Conceding a goal after just three minutes to Jamie Vardy—his seventh in eight appearances against the Reds—immediately led to the television director at Anfield cutting to shots of Virgil van Dijk in the directors’ box.
The goal came from a mistake by Joel Matip, who is vying with Dejan Lovren to become Van Dijk’s central defensive partner when the Holland international signs from Southampton for £75 million on Monday.
However, Klopp says his players should embrace the arrival of the world’s costliest defender.
“That’s part of professional football,” he said. “The really good players will always say that the challenge with other players for a position in the team will always help you.
“We cannot go in a season with two centre-halves and hope nothing happens. The third one is already logical and if you have a fourth one then it’s even better.
“I don’t think the boys were nervous. I couldn’t see anything like that.
“They don’t have any reason to be nervous because I’m really happy about the development of these players.
“But we have to obviously fight and battle with the biggest teams in world football, so we cannot go there with a group of 11 and being best friends every day.”