Mohamed Salah is still struggling to come to terms with Egypt’s penalty shootout loss to Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final, after returning to Liverpool side according to head coach Jurgen Klopp.
When Leicester City visit Anfield on Thursday, Salah is likely to make his first Liverpool appearance since departing for AFCON duty in January.
Salah and Egypt lost their second AFCON final in three tournaments against Senegal in Cameroon on Sunday, and the 29-year-old, whose appearance at the 2018 World Cup in Russia was hampered by a shoulder injury sustained against Real Madrid in the Champions League final a month earlier, still hasn’t won a continental title with seven-time champions Egypt.
Salah’s defeat to Sadio Mane’s Senegal was made worse by his inability to take a penalty in the shoot-out, with Egypt losing before he could take the fifth penalty.
Salah is yet to overcome the disappointment of missing out on AFCON glory, according to Liverpool boss Klopp, whose international career has yet to equal his club achievements.
Klopp stated, “Mo is very disappointed.” “It’s a huge undertaking.” Losing a final is never easy, but losing it the way Egypt did makes it even more difficult.
“He’s glad to be back here, and he worked out yesterday and today, but he’s also disappointed.” We talked about it, and he’ll take care of it, but it was clear yesterday that he’s still thinking about the final.”I don’t believe Mo’s thinking has much room for further determination.” It’s there for all of us, but it’s especially difficult when you lose a big final.
“However, if you can use [disappointment] for the next game or competition, it might be beneficial.” I’m not sure how we’ll gain from it exactly.”
Salah is set to return to club duty against Leicester, while Mane is doubtful to face Brendan Rodgers’ side after being granted permission to fly from Cameroon to Senegal to take part in the country’s first-ever AFCON triumph celebrations.
“Sadio hasn’t returned yet, but it’s such a big deal ([or Senegal], as evidenced by the joy,” Klopp stated. “We didn’t want to put everyone in a bad mood by asking him to return, so we just told him to enjoy himself and return as soon as possible.” “I believe it will be tonight.”
Liverpool takes on Leicester as Manchester City’s closest rivals in the Premier League (they are nine points behind City with a game in hand) and with aspirations of winning the Champions League and both domestic cup competitions still alive.
Klopp said that, while he was hesitant to speak up the possibility of a clean sweep of the titles this season, Liverpool is determined to push hard on all fronts between now and the conclusion of the season.
“It doesn’t appear to be very likely [to win everything], but we aren’t here today to know what will happen in May,” Klopp stated. “We’re concentrating on the next game.” That’s the only way I’ve ever known of winning games.