Liverpool's Dejan Lovren and Mohamed Salah lift the Premier League Trophy at Anfield. PA Photo. ( Paul Ellis/PA Wire/PA Images)

Klopp jokes Salah needs new “best friend” as Reds pay tribute to Lovren

Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to Dejan Lovren and joked the Reds need to find a new best friend for Mo Salah after the Croatian’s move to Zenit.

He has ended a six-year stay on Merseyside with his move to Russia and Klopp said the defender was an integral part of the team for the manager’s first years at the club.

The boss also highlighted perhaps Lovren’s best and worst moments: games against Dortmund and Tottenham, respectively.

“Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club, because he was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in,” Klopp told the club site.

“When he was fit, he was very, very, very often in the team. A great player and a great person.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 14, 2016: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren scores a dramatic injury time winning fourth goal to seal a 4-3 (5-4 aggregate) victory over Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“He played super games and scored one of the most important goals of our history in the 4-3 against Borussia Dortmund; a really wonderful moment to share.

“He had so many good games. Yes, I think he will not like the Tottenham game when I took him off in the first half, but it is part of football and part of development – and he always came back.”

Looking to the future, the boss joked about his friendship with our No. 11 and hinted that he’d have to find a new best mate for Salah.

“Yesterday we said, ‘Who is now the best friend of Mo?’ because they were really real, real bezzies. They were really close and that’s the thing, we will miss him.”

Salah himself also had a message for the outgoing defender, thanking him for being a top team-mate on and off the pitch.

BELGRADE, SERBIA - Monday, November 5, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Dejan Lovren walk out before a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FK Crvena zvezda (Red Star Belgrade) and Liverpool FC at Stadion Rajko Miti?. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s a reminder that while Lovren may no longer have been first choice, much of the success of the team has been build on relationships and closeness within the club – and so the Croatian’s role will need to, in some ways more than others, be filled by different people.

“I don’t know how to say, my friend. You don’t know my feeling right now. We’re really going to miss you a lot, especially me,” Salah said.

“You’ve been an unbelievable player and a great friend for me. We’re going to miss you a lot. I miss you a lot, I love you so much. You’ve been fantastic outside the field and inside the field.

“So, thank you for everything you did for the club, thank you for everything you did for me. I wish you all the best in the future and I wish you to have a great career as well, enjoying the new club with your family.

“Thank you very much and see you soon.”