FSG learns from Sadio Mane’s mistake but Mohamed Salah justifies Liverpool’s position


It has been a while since Liverpool endured a month like last month.

In the space of a few weeks, the Reds have moved from the top of the Premier League table to fifth place. It could have been worse if more of their rivals’ results hadn’t been against Jurgen Klopp’s men ahead of their own revival with wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

For three years so domineering on the pitch, Liverpool’s recent loss of form and shyness of goals has been a stern cry from the monsters of mentality who were crowned champions of England, Europe and the world in under 18 month.

Before returning to victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night, the Reds have won only one of their last seven games, and that was against the Under-18s imposed by Aston Villa in the FA Cup, and had not scored in their last four Premier League outings. .

Such a blip saw Manchester City come out of the depths to overtake Liverpool and forge a four-point lead with a game in the lead against them at the top of the table, ensuring that the Reds already face a difficult task to hold onto the title as we are entering the second half of the season.

What’s worse are Liverpool’s in front of goal torn from nowhere, having beaten Crystal Palace 7-0 in their last Premier League win before defeating Spurs.

The only change on the Reds’ frontline was Diogo Jota’s absence with the Portuguese in sensational form following his summer move from Wolves to be hit with a knee injury against FC Midtjylland in early December.

Even without the forward, Liverpool still claim the talents of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as the infamous third forward, with characters like Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino in supporting roles.

But for some reason, it didn’t click. Yet despite such a failure, the Reds are still the Premier League’s top scorers and boast the division’s top scorer at Salah.

It is no coincidence that the Egyptian’s return to the scoresheet alongside Mane and Firmino has coincided with their club’s return to victory.

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Instead, the club’s defensive injury crisis cannot be overlooked, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez having suffered long-term injuries in October and November, with Klopp being the grassroots when it comes to his full-back options. central.

While his decision to use Fabinho in the post turned out to be rather astute, while Jordan Henderson’s adaptation to the role was admirable, not signing a replacement for Dejan Lovren this summer ended up being rather expensive.

And it was even easier to point fingers the last time Liverpool had such a run.

After beating Manchester City on New Years Eve in 2016, Klopp’s side were second in the Premier League table behind Chelsea, thanks in part to four consecutive wins, and had appeared best placed against rival leaders Chelsea.

They had even led the standings themselves earlier that month after beating Watford 6-1 at Anfield, but Mane’s African Cup of Nations departure with Senegal derailed their efforts.

They only won one of their next 10 matches, and it was an FA Cup replay against lower league Plymouth Argyle, as they left both domestic cup competitions and fell to fourth in the table, 13 points behind Chelsea, before Mane’s return inspires their next league victory, ironically against Tottenham in early February.

But Klopp had been warned. Liverpool knew they would lose the Senegalese to international service in January and, with Salah enjoying his football in Rome and not yet publicly on the Reds’ radar, had been urged to bolster their attacking ranks.

However, the club have stood firm, determined not to sign a short-term solution and instead wait until the summer to strengthen their hand.

To be fair, that move worked perfectly for Liverpool and for FSG, even if it cost them a chance to challenge the title that year.

Securing fourth place on the last day of the season to qualify for the Champions League, the Reds brought in Salah that summer with Van Dijk joining the following January and haven’t looked back since.

Klopp found himself in a similar position this time around, although in his time his stance was much more drastic and that caused late action in the transfer window, as FSG learned from their Mane misstep. .

It had seemed likely that his desired signing would have to wait until summer, but with Joel Matip ruled out for the season after suffering ankle ligament damage against Spurs and Fabinho missed the game due to a muscle injury, the FSG was reluctantly forced to act and change. their position after mixed news on injuries.

Van Dijk hopes to return to action in April, but Klopp has admitted he doesn’t expect to see the Dutchman or Gomez again this season.

Meanwhile, the German is also hoping to reunite with Fabinho for next week’s clash with Manchester City.

In response, Liverpool brought in Ben Davies in a £ 1.6million deal on the Championship side of Preston North End on the day of the transfer deadline and long-term goal Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke, the duo offering additional options alongside Brazilian Henderson, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

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While the Turkey international has drawn admiring glances from Anfield for several months, FSG’s financial limits amid the coronavirus pandemic along with Klopp’s desire to re-evaluate his options this summer have prompted the Reds to take an approach. before buying with the central defender.

The victory over Tottenham and West Ham appears to rekindle the Reds’ fortunes again, even before new defenders arrive, and FSG could look to summer again when it comes to their next big-name signing regardless. Kabak’s fortune in Merseyside.

With Liverpool’s hope of defending the Premier League title hanging in the balance ahead of the weekend’s clash with league leaders Manchester City, it will be a fall-or-swim case for Kabak and Davies as the duo seeks to resolve the Reds’ defensive issues.

But their arrival could come half a season too late due to Liverpool’s unprecedented defensive circumstances, FSG’s controversial decision not to sign a center-back to replace Lovren this summer, which could cost them back-to-back titles.

Still, as Salah’s final signing in the summer of 2017 proved, patience could be the stepping stone the Reds need to be successful in the future.

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