Jurgen Klopp speaks on replacing Mohamed Salah as Liverpool face January dilemma

Klopp hails Salah after landmark Liverpool goal in win

Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he has ‘no real plans’ to replace Mohamed Salah when the Liverpool maestro departs for the Africa Cup of Nations next month. Salah could miss up to seven games for the Reds while on international duty, with the 31-year-old hoping to lead Egypt to an eighth continental triumph.

Liverpool had to cope without Salah for a month during the last Africa Cup of Nations and ended up finishing behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League title race. This time, however, his absence will be offset by the added firepower of Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo to go alongside Luis Diaz and the injured Diogo Jota.

Klopp revealed before Liverpool’s win over Crystal Palace that no plans have been made to sign a forward in January to replace Salah, saying: “No, I didn’t think about it to be honest and I can’t change it anyway. I have no real plans for it. It’s January, right? I hope Diogo is back then.

“I didn’t think about it yet. Probably [Salah will be available to face Arsenal in the FA Cup on January 7]. I’m not sure when the official date is to give the boys. December is a really tricky month. You’re happy when you get through it and then you start thinking about all the rest.

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“We cannot avoid it anyway. Whatever I can say, if Egypt and Mo decide he has to go on the second, third, or fourth of January. I’m pretty sure Mo wants to play the game but I’m not sure we can make that decision.”

Salah will undoubtedly be a huge loss for Liverpool when he links up with the Egypt squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. His form this season has been nothing short of sensational, with the Reds ace having bagged 14 goals and another eight assists in all competitions.

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Klopp will be desperate for his other forwards to step up without Salah by their side in order to maintain their Premier League title charge into the new year. He will miss a number of important fixtures if Egypt manage to reach the final, as they did last time out when they were beaten on penalties by Senegal.

Liverpool will travel to Bournemouth after their FA Cup clash with Arsenal before facing Chelsea, the Gunners in the league and Burnley. However, their impressive attacking depth should allow them to cope in Salah’s absence without too much difficulty, even if Jota is unable to make a timely return to fitness.

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