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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 241st Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Not sure what you see” – Klopp disputes Mo Salah playing too wide this season

Mohamed Salah has found himself on the periphery of games so far for Liverpool in what has proven concerning for fans, but Jurgen Klopp does not feel his No. 11 has been pushed too far wide.

It’s been a disjointed start to the season for Liverpool, not helped by an absurd number of injuries that have compounded the lack of early cohesion.

Salah has still managed three goals and three assists so far this season, but the sense from some is that he has been pushed too far wide and is, therefore, not involved in as many key areas.

It’s a point that Klopp disputed after the stalemate at Goodison Park, while also hinting at tactical tweaks still needing to be ironed out due to evolution and change in personnel.

“No, it’s not more than other seasons or whatever, I’m not sure what you see there,” Klopp told reporters after being asked about Salah’s positioning.

“We want to have Mo there in this position but we want to have Mo, and we always had him, more often in central positions as well.

“Today especially we wanted to use the boys a bit more centrally, but we didn’t have a lot of time to train obviously.

“Actually we only recovered, we spoke a lot about it, I’m not sure I was clear enough in the first half what we wanted.

“In the moments when we played, when Mo dropped or when Lucho dropped after two or three passes they were completely free in between the lines because Darwin kept the last line back with his pure presence and they like to drop pretty early.

“But we didn’t do that often enough, you are right. I don’t think in the season he is too often wide, maybe today in a few moments yes. But he could have scored again in the last minute pretty much.”

Salah’s league heatmap so far this season does not show a significant change from 2021/22, with action in the penalty box the notable difference – but it is a much smaller sample size, of course.

The isolation of Liverpool’s attackers has been the worry early doors, and that has been compounded by the constant changes and injuries in midfield and the underperformance of the team in general.

As Klopp mentioned, Liverpool have not had “a lot of time to train” and that will remain the case with a game every weekend and midweek until the World Cup, the September international break being the exception.

It feels then like a sense of the Reds needing to hang on before resetting and working through the tactical changes that have been implemented, as not everyone is on the same page currently.

Salah is Liverpool’s game-winner, though, and the Reds need to find a way to get him more involved in the positions that will consistently create the most danger.

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