Sunday Aug 27, 2017. 13:00
Liverpool’s African attacking duo of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah can still improve their game, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.
The Senegalese has made a successful return from injury and looked in great shape during the Reds’ early games in the 2017/18 season, while the Egyptian is settling well following his big-money move from Roma.
Yet Klopp reckons both players are “not at the limit” of their capabilities and reckons their current front three of Mane, Salah and Brazilian Roberto Firmino can get even better following their superb showing this past midweek in the UEFA Champions League.
“Who was in doubt about Roberto [before Wednesday]?” he asked reporters at Melwood on Friday.
“Sorry, anyone who was lost my respect one-and-a-half years ago already. He is an unbelievable player.
“Working hard, everybody speaks about the passing game, but it’s the challenges he makes defensively, chasing them from behind, all over the pitch. They couldn’t get rid of him.
“That is the character you need to make the next step with a team which is already good.”
On Mane, Klopp added, “Yes, Sadio has made a big step. Being more clear in all the situations. Passing in the right moment, dribbling in the right moments, always being a goal threat,” the German conceded.
“He had a long break but he has started so well. Last season he didn’t start too badly either. At Arsenal he scored a nice goal.
“Sadio is not at the limit. Like all these boys, he can still improve.”
As for Salah, Klopp feels that the Egyptian is still adapting the physicality of the English game and the different demands of a new position.
“You can see Mo is on the way there. Not that used to it. Not using the body that much,” he explained.
“He’s a different player to Sadio, same speed, but a different player. He played a completely different position last season, he was the second striker at Roma.
“He is a winger—he can play this. He has defended 500 percent more already than he did in the whole of last season.”