Ahead of a huge game for Liverpool against arch rivals Manchester United tonight, manager Jurgen Klopp must brutally axe “superstar” Mohamed Salah from his starting XI.
The Egyptian has had a great season this year, but his performance against Manchester City in the recent FA Cup semi final was far from memorising.
He was hardly in the game and only touched the ball 38 times, which was less than goalkeeper Alisson.
Liverpool are now fortunate enough to be blessed with plenty of options for their front three and we think Klopp should go for a combination that doesn’t include Salah.
With two goals in the cup game against City, Sadio Mane is one of the obvious choices to start, Luis Diaz also deserves to keep his place in the side, and Diogo Jota should be brought in to complete the trio.
Statistics show that Jota can be more of a threat from open play than Salah, with his number of expected non penalty goals higher than the 29-year olds.
Despite the recent poor run of form, Salah’s team mates have leapt to his defence. Andy Robertson praised his work rate as “different class” when speaking to the Athletic.
Jurgen Klopp also spoke after the cup game against City saying that it’s “a completely normal spell” he’s going through and that the goals will eventually come.
Whilst he’s likely to find his form again soon, perhaps a spell out of the team will benefit him? All of Liverpool’s games between now and the end of the season are crucial if they want to beat Manchester City to the title and go all the way in the Champions League and FA Cup.
But derby games against Manchester United are always more difficult. Klopp should play Salah in the easier games until he regains his form or they risk dropping points.
There are also no guarantees that Salah will be a Liverpool player in the future as he’s still not signed a new deal committing his future to the club.
So maybe now is a good time for them to get used to winning without him.
While Anfield may be shocked at such a huge decision, it might just be the right call.