Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk backs Mohamed Salah to rediscover killer instinct

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk backs Mohamed Salah to rediscover killer instinct

Virgil van Dijk backs Mohamed Salah to regain form for Liverpool

Mohamed Salah’s form for Liverpool is under scrutiny after another underwhelming afternoon in his side’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea. Adam Bate was at Stamford Bridge to see it and argues that there is little reason to be too concerned about Salah just yet.

There was a moment five minutes prior to Mohamed Salahs substitution at Stamford Bridge that seemed to seal his fate. Collecting the ball on the edge of the Chelsea box, he had briefly isolated his marker but only succeeded in turning into trouble and the chance was lost. An agitated Jurgen Klopp swiftly turned to the bench and called for Xherdan Shaqiri.

While the substitute’s impact drew widespread praise from Klopp, the striker might have considered himself unfortunate to have only started the match from the bench, having also netted in the midweek Carabao Cup loss to the Londoners.

The Liverpool boss tried to downplay his decision to hook last seasons Premier League top scorer, but this was a big game with the result in the balance. “I know already that you will all make a fuss of that but thats football,” he told reporters in the press room afterwards.

The Reds altered their line-up for a third successive match on Saturday evening as Daniel Sturridge scored a late beauty to preserve the Reds’ unbeaten start to the Premier League season in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

Van Dijk message to Sturridge, Shaqiri as he backs Klopp methods

• Salah and Henderson frustrated at being subbed• Jürgen Klopp praises Daniel Sturridges start to season

And while none of Liverpool’s squad men have publicly questioned the manager, or asked to be given more gametime by Klopp, Van Dijk has told any player disgruntled by his selections to like it or lump it.

Salah, in particular, endured a frustrating return to Stamford Bridge and was taken off shortly after the hour with the visitors still trailing to Eden Hazards first-half goal. While there is no underlying concern at the Egyptians form – he boasts three goals in nine club appearances to date this term – among the coaching staff, the reigning player of the year is clearly still easing his way into the campaign, with Jürgen Klopp willing to turn to Daniel Sturridge or Xherdan Shaqiri to freshen up the sides approach.

Sturridge, along with summer signings Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita have found themselves in and out of Klopp’s starting XIs, while another recruit, Fabinho, has had to stay even more patient.

Read more Asked if key personnel will have to become accustomed to being replaced, Van Dijk said: You have to, otherwise you better leave. We all want one thing: to be successful, and we need everyones help. Its a long season with a lot of games. We need everyone and everyone knows that as well, and thats a big strength for us.

We are seven games in and Mos working hard. Hes still the same Mo, and he needs a bit of luck as well. Im not worried at all, and he should not be worried either. We do it all together, well always be there for him and hell deliver as well. He had a tough game against Chelsea, but its part of football.

Beyond that, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi have all only made one appearance or less in the opening nine games.

Klopp, with one eye on next Sundays visit of Manchester City, backed last seasons golden boot winner to rediscover his touch. Of course he is not happy with himself, how could he be? the Liverpool manager said. Thats normal. That is what you have a manager for. We will have a talk about it. People will dissect his performances now: a nice big cut and, wow, they will find pretty much nothing.

You have to [understand], otherwise you better leave, the towering Dutchman, who has missed out just once this season, said.

At the end, whatever is written, people will say sorry afterwards. It is all fine. As long as he works like he works, I am completely fine.

Liverpool next face a tricky trip to Napoli in the Champions League, before a huge match with Manchester City on Sunday.

Sturridges impact, with a glorious fourth goal of the season conjured from his first involvement against his former club, may prove timely with Gareth Southgate to name his England squad on Thursday for the Nations League ties in Croatia and Spain.

Klopp said: Daniel played fantastically against Paris Saint-German, with high intensity, and his target must always be to play that high intensity over 95 minutes. He understands that.

Daniel does not want us to change our style for him. He plays exactly how we want him to. He makes moves in the right places and judges situations and scores goals. When fit, he has always been an important part of the team and so he is now.

Van Dijk said: Before I arrived at Liverpool, I said he was one of the best strikers in the league and he shows it when hes fit. Of course he is good enough for England.There shouldnt be any doubt. I know what hes capable of, how good he can be and when hes at his best, by playing against him and seeing him in training with the hard work that he puts in and the positivity he brings. We have a great squad, world-class players, and hes one of them.

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