Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah is “on the way” to reaching the same levels as Lionel Messi after the Egyptian scored four goals for Liverpool in Saturday’s win against Watford, ESPN reports.
Salah netted his first ever hat-trick for Liverpool as he took his goalscoring tally for the season to 36 in all competitions.
The 25-year-old has scored 28 league goals so far this term – which is more than any other player across Europe’s top five leagues.
When asked whether it was appropriate to talk about Messi and Salah in the same conversation as two of the best players in the world, Klopp told a news conference, “Yeah, I think Mo is on the way. That’s good.
“I don’t think Mo wants or anybody wants to be compared with Lionel Messi. He (Messi) is the one who is doing what he is doing for what feels like 20 years or so. The last player I know that had the same influence on a team performance was Diego Maradona – another Argentina guy.
“Yes, Mo is on a fantastic way – that’s for sure. But how it always in life, if you have the skills then you have to show it constantly.
“His consistency is very good for us; he helps us a lot. The boys love playing together with him (and) he loves playing together with them, so it’s good. You need always in a game somebody who brings the ball over the line.”
Salah scored two goals in each half of Liverpool’s 5-0 victory over at Anfield on the weekend, which takes him ahead of Harry Kane in the Premier League’s Golden Boot race.
Those goals mean Salah, who joined Liverpool from Roma in the summer for what was then a club-record fee, has now scored more goals than any other Liverpool player in their first season at the club.
“If the question is what I think about that then I think that’s quite exceptional,” Klopp said.
“(It was) another good performance in a very difficult game, in a very impressive manner, coping and dealing with the conditions.”
Meanwhile, Salah thanked his Liverpool teammates for their help in him reaching such record-breaking goalscoring figures.
“I have to thank every one of my teammates, without them I couldn’t have reached these numbers,” he told BT Sport postmatch.
“Each game we try to get the three points, that’s the most important thing, but every game I want to score, I want to help the team.”