‘Goal machine’ Mohamed Salah as good as Lewandowski, says Jürgen Klopp

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<span>Photograph: Xinhua/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Xinhua/Shutterstock

Jürgen Klopp has said Mohamed Salah ranks alongside Robert Lewandowski as the best goalscorer he has coached, with the Egypt international closing on 100 Premier League goals for Liverpool.

Salah, 29, requires one goal to reach a league century for Liverpool and his next goal in any competition will make him the 10th-highest scorer in the club’s history. With 99 goals from 150 appearances, he can be the third-fastest to reach the milestone in the league for Liverpool after Roger Hunt (148 games) and Jack Parkinson (149).

This week Lewandowski, whom Klopp brought to Borussia Dortmund in 2010, collected the Golden Shoe award for Europe’s top goalscorer in 2020-21. The Liverpool manager believes Salah’s numbers, professionalism and hunger bear comparison to the “absolutely exceptional” Bayern Munich striker as the Egyptian takes his prolific form – 17 goals in Liverpool’s past 21 away fixtures – to Brentford on Saturday.

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

“Mo Salah is absolutely up there with him, there is no doubt about that,” Kloppsaid. “Mo is a goal machine. His professionalism is absolutely second to none. He does everything to be always fit and stay on track. First in, last out, all these kind of things – that’s Mo. On top of that, apart from his technical skill set, he is desperate to score goals and that is helpful as well. That is exactly how it is with Lewi. That’s good and very helpful for a football player.

“Whatever you do on a pitch, whatever you create, you need somebody who brings the ball over the line and in the back of the net. Mo is absolutely there with the best I ever saw. He knows that. The numbers he has are insane. I’m obviously blessed to work with some good players.”

Alisson
Alisson may be unable to return to Liverpool in time for the league game against Watford after the next round of World Cup qualifiers in South America. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

Klopp, meanwhile, has expressed dismay at the timing of his team’s trip to Watford after the next international break. Brazil have called up goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Fabinho, along with six other Premier League players, for their next round of World Cup qualifiers. Klopp is awaiting a resolution to the quarantine issues that marred the last international break – and Brazil’s third game, against Uruguay, will finish in the early hours (GMT) of Friday 15 October. Liverpool kick off at Vicarage Road at 12.30pm the following day.

Klopp said: “Obviously nobody thought about that and it’s a Liverpool problem, not a problem for anybody else. Good for Watford and all these kind of things, but I just don’t know how you can do these things and nobody reacts on the schedule. The schedule is always a problem but it’s like the TV guys and the Premier League just say: ‘OK, that’s how it is, they have to play.’ Let’s have a look at how we can sort that. It’s another thing that’s not good for the players and not good for the clubs.”

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