Jürgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah’s new contract will benefit Liverpool on the pitch with the forward having no distractions over his Anfield career.
Salah became the highest-paid player in Liverpool’s history last month when signing a new three-year contract worth about £350,000 a week. The agreement ended months of uncertainty over the 30-year-old’s future and gave “all of us a boost” according to the Liverpool manager. Salah score 31 club goals last season despite his output declining after the Africa Cup of Nations.
Klopp said: “He is in really good shape and of course he is happy to be here. As clear as it was for him, and I said we would get the deal over the line, it was still an open thing and everyone talks about it. We are humans, but I didn’t see it distracting him a lot to be honest.
“Mo had one of the most intense seasons ever, with the Africa Cup of Nations and all of our games. Everyone talks about us playing 63 games but we had some players who played a tournament in between as well, which is absolutely ridiculous.
“After a few weeks of holiday Mo is always full of power and energy and he came back in a good shape and, yes, knowing where he will be, I wouldn’t say the rest of his career because he is the player who can play on much longer, but for the next very, very important years in his career. That gave all of us a boost and him as well. He looked really sharp in the whole pre-season to be honest. Long may it continue.”
A negative for Klopp before Liverpool’s Premier League opener at Fulham is the number of injuries that affected the squad in pre-season. Ibrahima Konaté is facing an extended spell on the sidelines with a knee injury sustained in a friendly against Strasbourg. Klopp described the defender’s injury as “a massive blow” and did not put a timeframe on his recovery. Diogo Jota, Kostas Tsimikas, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Caoimhín Kelleher will also be absent, although Klopp insists Liverpool are unlikely to respond with a signing.
“We cannot solve a problem we have for four weeks with a transfer for a full year,” he said. “That makes at the moment no sense to us. The transfer window is still open and we will see, but the plans are not to go in that direction.”