Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he had not intended for Mohamed Salah to become Liverpool's line-leading goal threat when he arrived at Anfield in the summer, saying that he and his team are still learning what the Egyptian can do.
Salah scored four goals against Watford on Saturday evening to build a comfortable cushion at the top of the Premier League's goalscoring charts, but Klopp admitted after the game that he had not anticipated his star man would adopt a central role in his attack - only realising in pre-season training.
Speaking after the game, he said: “He [Salah] played more on the wing for Roma, where he had a very dominant striker in Edin Dzeko. Nobody could know [that he could play as a striker]. We learned it step by step. We didn’t know exactly that he’s capable of playing in the centre.
“But we will not treat him like: ‘You don’t have to train, Mo – just come on Saturday for the game and we’ll see you there at Anfield or whatever.’ He doesn’t want that. He’s in the moment of his career but he knows there is a lot for him to come. He wants to learn and he wants to improve.”
Klopp was seen applauding Salah's defensive work from the sidelines on the weekend, conceding after the game that the attacking forward forgets to track back when out of possession.
“He does it. But sometimes he needs a little...[reminder]. A lot of my players need that. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s only a thing, it’s not exactly the same strength. If you talk about Roberto, he loves running in that direction and chasing the players. If I said to him ‘Stop it’, he couldn’t. That’s why I took him off, because he will never rest.
"He runs all the time but then Mo didn’t stop as well tonight – in the other direction. He took each sprint like the 100-metre final in the Olympic Games. That’s what I mean: the team adapts to the strengths. Nobody is talking and saying, ‘Mo, but you have to...'
"At the moment, nobody is saying anything to Salah other than “carry on”."