Mohamed Salah has sent a message to Liverpool by reiterating his long-term future lies in the club’s hands.
The Egypt international, the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 13 goals, has a contract until the summer of 2023 and has said he wants to stay and continue to break records with Jürgen Klopp’s side.
However, just before Christmas the forward, in a rare interview, voiced his disappointment at not being named captain for their Champions League group match against Midtjylland and encouraged speculation by talking about the “great” clubs of Barcelona and Real Madrid. At the timeKlopp played down the significance of the comments, although he said they could not force people to stay.
Asked about his future by the Norwegian channel TV2, Salah said: “I do not know. If you ask, I say I want to stay here as long as I can, but, as I have said before, it is in the hands of the club. I will always give 100% to the last minute I am in this club and I want to win as many trophies as I can. And I want to give 100% to the people, who show me love all the time.”
After a run of four goals in four league matches Salah’s blank in Sunday’s goalless draw with Manchester United made it four games without a goal for the forward.
Midfielder Thiago Alc^ântara says not converting chances affects the players’ self-confidence. Liverpool had 66& possession and 17 shots against the Premier League leaders but managed only three on target in a draw which saw them drop to fourth. The champions are on a three-match scoring drought in the top flight, their worst since March 2005.
Thiago, making his first Anfield appearance four months after arriving from Bayern Munich due to injury and illness, said it had an effect against United. “When we didn’t realise [the chances] and didn’t make the goals, we’re just getting our self-confidence a bit down and that’s why the game changed,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“At the end, it’s football and in some minutes of the game you are in high emotions and sometimes you are low – it’s part of the game. Without winning, we are never satisfied. We have to do much better to be on top of the league.”
Liverpool may have Salah on 13 goals but Sadio Mané has only six and Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, who is injured, both five. No one else has more than one goal in the Premier League. Last season when Klopp’s side ran away with the league his three main forwards did the heavy lifting but six other players scored four or more goals.
The captain, Jordan Henderson, who played his second successive match in an all-midfield central defensive partnership with Fabinho, said greater contributions were needed. “We need to score goals to win games – and I’m not talking just about the front three,” he said. “I’m talking about everyone: midfielders, full-backs getting into the box, set-pieces. Everybody can chip in. We need to start doing that quickly.
“We’ve just got to keep working hard and not think about it too much, because the quality we possess going forward is frightening. So it’s not quality, we just need to change our mentality and make sure we’re ruthless when we come in front of goal.”
On Thursday, Burnley, a team who have conceded five goals in eight league matches with no victory or defeat by more than a one-goal margin, arrive at Anfield. Klopp, however, is confident the goals will return. “We will create chances and we will score but I know now we face Burnley on Thursday and they are not famous for conceding an awful lot of goals,” he said.
“It is not that we just decide from now on we want to score again and now we will do it, but I see the boys really in the situation and I will help as much as I can so that we change it as quickly as possible.”