Jurgen Klopp will have to find a balance with Mohamed Salah after Saturday’s incident with Sadio Mane.
Mane was furious with Salah for not passing him the ball for an easy goal in the 3-0 win at Burnley. Mane appeared to have a clear shot on goal if Salah passed, but the Egyptian took the more difficult option on trying to dribble further for a shot himself.
Klopp substituted Mane shortly afterwards and the Senegalese looked livid on the bench. The Liverpool boss doesn’t think it’s a big deal, however.
“Yes, very okay, all good,” Klopp said, per TalkSport. “These guys throw everything on the pitch and sometimes they are not happy but it is all fine.
“We spoke about it after and I respect that a lot as long as the boys invest so much.”
The fact is, though, that Klopp has to balance Salah or there may be more moments like with Mane. Salah is unquestionably a brilliant player, and has been since his £34m move, but he certainly has a selfish streak about him.
That works if he’s undoubtedly the team’s dominant scorer but he isn’t anymore. Mane finished level with his teammate for the Premier League Golden Boot last season and will want to beat him this year.
He can’t have his teammate making poor, selfish decisions and remain calm about it. It’s just not reasonable to expect that.
But Salah’s selfishness is also a wonderful trait – on occasion. He’s incredibly driven to score and will try difficult things, securing great results thanks to his ability.
Klopp has to balance that with a team ethic, though. Salah is no longer to outright main goal-getter – and his style has to reflect that.
Fingers crossed that Klopp can get both Mane and Salah on the same page.