Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended Mohamed Salah after he went back to Liverpool following his injury at the Africa Cup of Nations matches. He shoots down the rumors from the critics who are skeptical about the athlete’s loyalty to his national squad, Egypt.
Injury at AFCON
On Wednesday, Mohamed Salah was placed under an intensive medical recovery program after he suffered a muscle injury at the 2-2 match between Egypt and Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations matches last Thursday.
Initially, he was dropped on the first XI for just two matches for Egypt but the sports agent of Salah, Ramy Abbas disclosed that the 31-year-old forward was advised to spend the next few weeks on the sidelines. According to a press meeting on Tuesday, Pep Lijnders, assistant manager at Liverpool, revealed the news that Salah’s injury was much more severe than initially expected.
Return to Liverpool
The Premier League club, Liverpool, and the Football Association of Egypt came down to an arrangement for Salah’s transfer from Egypt’s camp to Liverpool to continue his rehabilitation. However, some pundits and former athletes questioned his withdrawal from the medical facilities of the Egyptian side.
According to former Africa Cup of Nations matches champion, Ahmed Hassan, he stated that Salah should remain with his national team whatever happens because of his captaincy role in the team. He believed that Liverpool should have brought medical personnel from the club to the competition instead.
Following the semi-final win of Liverpool against Fulham in the EFL Cup, Klopp made a clarification about the transfer of Salah and shot down the doubts of critics on Salah’s loyalty to Egypt. He stated that the Liverpool forward could still return to the latter portion of the Africa Cup of Nations matches if he recovered in time.
When interviewed on beIN SPORTS, Klopp said that he doesn’t have a final say over Salah’s return. When he was asked about Salah’s priority, he stated that both Liverpool and Egypt want the best interest of Salah and they want for him to recover as quickly as possible.
He further explained the reasoning behind Salah’s Liverpool return by saying that if the forward remained in Africa, he would not be treated properly. He said that it would halt his recovery and it is best if he will be treated at the state-of-the-art medical facilities of the Premier League club.
He also explained that they did not bring him back because they wanted to keep him away from Egypt, but they just wanted to help him get treated in the best way possible.
Klopp finally stated his reassurance to the fans of Mo Salah that if he recovered in time and Egypt has reached the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations matches, they would allow him to return to the competition.
Klopp praised Salah
Following the victory of Liverpool over Bournemouth on Sunday, Klopp was asked about Salah and he commented that following the win, it makes perfect sense that Salah should be treated at Liverpool.
Meanwhile, the team manager of the Egyptian national football team, Rui Votoria did not approve what Klopp stated. He said that the German coach shouldn’t have discussed Salah’s injury before the match between Egypt and Cape Verde at the Africa Cup of Nations matches on Monday.
When Klopp was questioned if his comment would put pressure on Salah to go back to Liverpool, he said that he was just being honest. He clarified that he didn’t make an announcement and Salah’s medical state was not a secret. He also said that he was too busy that there were many things on his plate and that what he said should not be taken too seriously.
Finally, he ended the statement with sincere praise for Mo Salah. For those critics who questioned the loyalty of Mo Salah to Egypt, he said he was the most loyal Egyptian that he met in his life.
Liverpool’s EFL Cup victory
Klopp was very pleased when his Liverpool side went triumphant over Fulham in the semi-final match in the Carabao Cup. The Reds secured their spot at the finals that are set to occur at Wembley with a 1-1 draw at the Craven Cottage.
Prolific player Luis Diaz led the Reds into victory over Fulham. As a result, Klopp was extremely proud of his team’s effort to win the do-or-die game.
For many years now, Salah was torn between his club side Liverpool, and his national squad, Egypt. Being the most prolific player right now in both realms of European football, we hope that the Pharaoh will recover soon.