AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman has claimed that he is 'not surprised' at how Mohamed Salah has adapted to life in the Premier League this season, but the 28-year-old did concede that his former teammate's goal tally has shocked fans back in Italy.
The Dutch international is set for a reunion with Salah on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League semi final at Anfield, and Strootman insists that fans have not forgotten the 'great job' that the Egyptian winger did in Rome last year.
But despite being a 'nightmare for opponents' in Serie A, Strootman did admit that Salah had a reputation for being wasteful in front of goal at the Stadio Olimpico - something the Egyptian star has shaken off since returning to England.
"I’m not surprised at how well he’s doing but just at how easy he scores the goals and how confident he is in front of goal with the ball," Strootman told the Independent ahead of Roma's trip to Anfield.
"Here he did a great job and did a lot of great assists and goals but he missed a lot of chances, especially one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
"I am surprised by how many goals he has scored so far but not how he plays. Here he was a nightmare for opponents and in England, he is doing the same.
"Now he has so much confidence and he just creates the chances himself and finds it easy in front of the goal. I think it is confidence which is the main difference.
"It did a lot when he played here but now you see if he has a chance and he misses it, the next time he knows he will score," he added. "I just hope in the two games against us he loses his confidence.
"We have special tactics [for Salah] but I’m not going the share it! Italian defence, that is what I’m hoping for."
Strootman also warned fans not to rule Roma out of the contest just yet. The Giallorossi provided one of the shocks of the season by knocking out Barcelona in the last round of the Champions League, and the Dutchman insists another upset could still be on the cards.
"There is always a surprise in the Champions League. Always,” Strootman continued about the match this week. "And we have surprised everybody."