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Jurgen Klopp: Contract uncertainty was not behind Mohamed Salah’s dip in form

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the dip in Mohamed Salah’s goal output late last season was more due to the arduous demands placed on the player than speculation over his contract.

The Egypt international scored just eight times – three of which were penalties – in 25 matches after returning to Anfield as a defeated Africa Cup of Nations finalist having scored 23 in 26 prior to his departure.

“It is of course much better than if he would have been out of contract next summer: Mo would have been the same person, I am 100 per cent sure he could have pushed that aside, but you (the media) would not have stopped asking and that is the problem we constantly face.”

“Mo had one of the most intense seasons ever, with the Africa Cup of Nations and all of our games.

Klopp insists he did not see a drop in the 30-year-old’s commitment last season and suggested his struggles in front of goal were potentially more likely as a result of disappointments in the AFCON and World Cup play-off failure – both to Senegal.

“Everyone talked about it (the contract) and we are humans but I didn’t see it distracting him a lot to be honest,” said the Reds boss.

“He was, from my point of view, in a brilliant shape and 98, 99 per cent.” Klopp is confident Salah’s new deal, making him the highest earner in the squad, is a boost for everyone not just the player.
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