Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be nervous about the prospect of losing either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah to injury after Virgil van Dijk’s ACL injury, according to Peter Crouch.
Liverpool are sweating over the fitness of Salah after the Egyptian was seen limping down the tunnel at Anfield on Tuesday night.
The forward came on as a second-half substitute against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League as the Reds won 2-0.
However, after the game, he was caught on camera walking down the tunnel with a limp, appearing to have an issue with his foot.
Liverpool’s season has been plagued with injuries in recent weeks, with van Dijk likely out for the season with an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament.
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Joel Matip has also missed the last couple of matches after picking up a knock in the Merseyside derby against Everton.
Things took another turn for the worse against Midtjylland as Fabinho – who was filling in for Van Dijk and Matip – went down with a possible hamstring injury.
Losing Salah would be a major blow to Liverpool’s Premier League title defence, and Crouch believes Klopp would be nervous of his team’s ability going forward if they were to lose him as well.
Speaking to the Mirror, the ex-Liverpool striker discussed Klopp’s options in the absence of Salah and explained that the injury suffered by Van Dijk will make the Reds boss even more cautious.
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“You saw it in the Ajax game when [Xherdan] Shaqiri, [Takumi] Minamimo and [Diogo] Jota all came on, I just think it proved that there’s going to be chances for all of them,” said Crouch.
“They’ve got so many games, and think losing Virgil van Dijk is going to make the manager more nervous at the thought of losing a Mane or a Salah, the key, important players. And Jota’s a class player.
“He’s so hard-working and he wants to press which they love doing from the front.
“Those front three have been so good in recent years, but there’s always a clamour for them to be better.
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“I think Jota is a great adage to that, and he’s come in and put pressure on a few.
“I’ve heard from quite a few Liverpool fans that maybe Mane could go through the middle and perhaps have Jota on the left and Salah on the right, with Minamino pressuring Firmino for a place in the team.
“That’s another option for them, and I think we’ll see something like that quite a bit this season.”
Crouch went on to heap praise on Salah for his evolution into a goalscorer rather than just a flamboyant winger.
He continued: “Salah’s goal record is ridiculous and I feel like he’s started the season so sharp. In all his play he just looks unplayable at times. He just looks so on it.
“From the moment we kicked off the season you just saw how sharp he was, his passing his movement, it’s just all gone up another level. He’s incredible.
“We clipped up some of his stuff at BT the other day and I was looking at it, and some of the passes he’s making this year… cutting inside, taking two or three players out of the game, setting up attacks…
“Early on when he came and he got his 44 goals [in the 2017/18 season] he was shooting from everywhere, and you felt that the pass was the last resort, but now he’s coming inside and looking for people.
“Don’t get me wrong I still think he’s selfish, because he’s got a right to be, but the way he plays those passes… I don’t mind that at all in players. Everyone needs a selfish, ruthless goalscorer. And amazingly that’s what he’s turned out to be.”
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