Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he nearly didn’t sign Mo Salah as he feared the Egypt star was too skinny.
Salah has scored 19 goals in all competitions since his arrival from Roma, establishing himself as one of the ‘Fab Four’ alongside Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Some were surprised that Liverpool paid £34million for a player who had previously struggled at Chelsea, and even Klopp has admitted he needed some convincing.
“His speed is his speed, it doesn’t depend on which league he’s in. That is clear,” said Klopp. “Of course we had to look at a lot of his games to see about other parts, physicality, being strong enough for challenges.
“But you see now, he is. I met him of course at one point and he looked ready. If you watch him only on television he looks quite skinny, I said before the scouting department did a fantastic job around him. They didn’t get out of our ears. It was 100 per cent, he is ready, he is ready.
“At one point, we were all sure he was ready. And that’s how it looks now.”
The former Dortmund boss also admitted that he set no target for the 25-year-old in terms of goals upon his arrival at Anfield, with Salah now competing for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
“It’s true he starts often because he is in a very good moment and it is difficult to think about leaving him out,” said Klopp.
“He is always a naturally fit player. We talk a lot to the medical department and it is really rare that any issues with him. You don’t hear that’s he had a problem here or a problem there, that’s a big thing.
“When you hear the name of a player twice from the medical department it is pretty clear he is not in the squad or on the bench. That’s how it works these times. We and he have been lucky so far that there is nothing around him.
“I didn’t make a number (goals target) for him before when we signed him. We knew we would get a very offensive-minded midfielder who is a lot of games a striker but also has the ability to make goals, to setup goals. So that what was the package we wanted, and that’s cool.”