Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp joked on Friday that he doesn’t wish Mohamed Salah too much luck at the Africa Cup of Nations as the Reds prepare for a crucial period of matches without the striker Egyptian.
Mohamed Salah is called up with Egypt for the African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, scheduled from January 13 to February 11, 2024, while Japanese captain Wataru Endo will participate in the Asian Cup in Qatar with the selection Japanese. Two losses for Liverpool who will have to do without their two stars for at least until the second week of February.
Referring to the departure of his two executives, Jurgen Klopp joked that he had fired them without wishing them too much success. “I said if I wished you luck it would be a lie“, said Klopp before Liverpool’s FA Cup third round match against Arsenal (2-0) on Sunday.
“ From a personal point of view, I would be happy if they went out in the group stage but that’s probably not possible. They can go on and win (…) So it was ‘Good luck and come back healthy’. We must face it and we will. I’m pretty sure we’ll find a way,” he added.
Who to play the role of Salah?
Klopp doesn’t really have a suitable replacement for Salah, who plays on the right side of his attack and has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season. Midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai has been touted as a potential option but has been ruled out for at least two matches with a hamstring injury suffered in the New Year’s Eve win over Newcastle.
But Klopp, whose side are top of the Premier League, is confident Liverpool can fill the void left by Salah. “I think we played West Ham (in the League Cup quarter-final last month) without Mo in that side and Harvey Elliott played there”assured the German technician.
“ We have different offensive options that can all play on this wing in a different way. No one else can play like Mo, that’s not possible – we just have to use the boys with their skills“, he concluded. As a reminder, Egypt is in Group B at CAN 2023, with Ghana, Cape Verde and Mozambique.