Mohamed Salah’s stunning four-goal haul against Watford inevitably recalled Luis Suarez’s own phenomenal exploits for Liverpool – but Jordan Henderson is uncomfortable making the comparison.
Henderson played alongside Suarez when the Uruguay star fired Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool to the cusp of the Premier League title in 2013-14.
Arguably his finest display in that thrilling campaign came in December 2013, when Suarez hit four in a 5-1 thumping of Norwich City, meaning Salah’s masterclass at the weekend had an obvious parallel.
“Who’s the best? Don’t be asking me stuff like that,” Henderson chuckled when speaking about the Anfield heroes old and new.
“They are both fantastic players and you can’t compare them.
“They are different players. I know they score a lot of goals and both work hard off the ball, but it is very difficult to make that comparison. They are both so good in their own right.
“Luis moved on to Barcelona and is doing fantastically well. He is a fantastic player who I was privileged to play with. But Mo this season has been unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.
“He is doing it every week, without fail. He’s a great lad in the dressing room and to have around the place. He is a big plus to have in the team.”
Salah now has an incredible 36 goals in all competitions this season – a prolific return that even manager Jurgen Klopp found hard to envisage when the Egypt international arrived from for £36.9million in June.
“Absolutely magnificent by Mohamed Salah!”
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— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 17, 2018
“He played more on the wing for Roma, where he had a very dominant striker in Edin Dzeko,” said Klopp.
“Nobody could know [that he could play as a striker]. We learned it step by step. We didn’t know exactly that he’s capable of playing in the centre.”
Although the fevered workrate of fellow forwards Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane does not come naturally to Salah, Klopp is impressed by how the 25-year-old has entirely bought into his high-intensity playing style.
“We will not treat him like: ‘You don’t have to train, Mo – just come on Saturday for the game and we’ll see you there at Anfield or whatever,'” said the Liverpool boss.
“He doesn’t want that. He’s in the moment of his career but he knows there is a lot for him to come. He wants to learn and he wants to improve.”
On Salah’s defensive efforts, Klopp added: “He does it. But sometimes he needs a little [reminder]. A lot of my players need that.
“If you talk about Roberto, he loves running in that direction and chasing the players. If I said to him, ‘Stop it’, he couldn’t.
“He runs all the time but then Mo didn’t stop as well [against Watford]– in the other direction. He took each sprint like the 100-metre final in the Olympic Games.
“Nobody is talking and saying, ‘Mo, but you have to …’. At the moment, nobody is saying anything to Salah other than ‘carry on’.”
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