Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he would not begrudge Kevin de Bruyne winning the Premier League Player of the Year award over Mohamed Salah at the end of the season - but insisted that the Egyptian forward would be a more than worthy winner.
The Premier League's two outstanding players face off twice in the next two weeks as their respective sides look to qualify for the semi finals of the Champions League, and Klopp was drawn into comparing the two in a press conference this week.
Quoted by the Mirror, the former Dortmund manager said: “Look, I think Mo would deserve it 100%. As his manager, I’d say ‘come on, prove it by playing at this level for the rest of the season’.
“But both players have played an outstanding season with obvious highlights. Scoring goals, creating chances, which is what everyone wants to see. Yes, Mo would deserve it. But if I said now that Kevin De Bruyne should have no chance I’d be lying. He’s a fantastic player and City will be champions so he already has a trophy. Maybe we can at least win the other one!”
De Bruyne's Manchester City side can wrap up the Premier League title against Manchester United next weekend, while Liverpool look firmly ensconced in the top four - with United and Tottenham two points above and below them in second and fourth respectively, albeit with the Reds having played a game more.
However, Chelsea sit a full ten points behind Klopp's side after their weekend defeat to Tottenham at Stamford Bridge, leaving the Reds more or less assured of Champions League football for a second successive season.