Mohamed Salah was a 'kid' at Chelsea, now a 'man' at Liverpool: Coach Klopp

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Nov 2017

 Liverpool
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (Reuters)

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has hailed the maturity of Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah, saying that he is "a man now” compared to his previous Premier league spell at Chelsea, when he was “a kid.”

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Klopp dismissed the idea that Salah was thinking of revenge upon his return to England's top flight league.

"Maybe it was one reason he came back, but he's not like: 'Now I will show you the real Mo Salah.' He's completely relaxed. For sure he wanted to show a little bit he's better than that, but everyone knew it already," the coach said.

Salah, 25, who joined Liverpool for a club record £34 million from AS Roma in the summer, made a quick impact with the Reds.

He is currently the Premier League top scorer with nine goals after scoring a double in Saturday's win over Southampton.

He has also recently led Egypt to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years.

Salah joined Chelsea in 2014 from Swiss side Basel FC, but the experience wasn't a fruitful one; he only scored twice in 19 league appearances before leaving to Fiorentina in 2015.

"He was a kid when he came to Chelsea, and we have heard a few times that's quite difficult, and in that time they were really successful. It was quite difficult to come through," Klopp explained.

"A little bit less muscle, a little bit less physical, and you fly through the Premier League -- not like he's flying now -- but one bodycheck, you understand. With his body shape that's now different. He's a man now, he was a kid at Chelsea, now he's a man. That's good."

Salah has scored 14 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions so far this season; the most of any player in Liverpool's history at that stage of their Anfield career, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Salah, who spent two-and-a-half seasons in Italy's Serie A playing for Fiorentina and AS Roma after departing Chelsea, has also changed in other aspects according to his coach.

"Physicality. He is top fit. He's settled in," Klopp said.

"Even when we lose, this is still a fantastic club. At Melwood, it is easy to feel well and comfortable. This is quite special. I don't know a lot of English clubs, but this is really special here. All the other boys liked him from the first day without him performing already.

"They knew they had a really good player in the squad. And that's it now," the coach concluded.    

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