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Jurgen Klopp admits star man Salah is struggling to gel with Liverpool's new signings

By Dominic King for the Daily Mail,


Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah is suffering from the inconsistencies in Liverpool ’s form and the inability to forge new partnerships.

Though Salah has scored 17 goals for Liverpool this season, there is a general recognition that his levels have not been of the same standard to previous years and he has been a peripheral figure in recent Premier League fixtures.

It was the aim at the beginning of the campaign for Salah to strike an alliance with Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez but, for a number of reasons, they have been restricted to just 343 minutes on the pitch all season; Diaz has been out since last October and is not expected back until early March.

This all feels very different for Liverpool, who had the best front three in Europe last season. Sadio Mane’s departure to Bayern Munich changed the dynamic, Roberto Firmino has struggled with fitness issues, while Diogo Jota has only played 190 minutes in the Premier League due to injury.

Klopp, however, is adamant that Salah’s rhythm will come soon enough but understands any frustration he has felt about the way the team has been playing. The Egyptian will spearhead Liverpool’s attack at Brighton tomorrow and his manager is looking for big things.

‘Of course Mo is suffering,’ said Klopp. 'It was a well-drilled machine the front three, everything was clear what we were doing. Everybody suffers from that. That’s clear. It is specific, offensive play that requires a lot of work and lot of information, and not always obvious information.

‘You create a feeling about a lot of these things, about where your team-mate is and where to pass the ball without looking. That is not cool but we cannot expect just to be back to our best and win 5-0 and go to the next game. We have to work hard. Nobody wants to hear it but we have to do it.’

‘If you had scored hundreds of goals in the past and now you are not scoring then that is the first thing you would think about but that is not our problem at the moment. I’m happy if he scores one, and in another game someone else scores one and we keep a clean sheet.’

Klopp hopes Jota might be available for the first leg of the Champions League last 16 clash with Real Madrid and all reinforcements would be well received, particularly as new signing Cody Gakpo is still adjusting to new surrounds.

In two or three weeks, a couple more options will be available and we can mix it up,’ said Klopp. ‘Now we have Cody as a really important asset, like a connector, he can play the wing and the centre as well. When Darwin is playing there he is higher up, going in behind, these kind of things.

‘We never played with a nine before, even when Sadio played in the position. That’s not Darwin’s game, he wants to have other balls at his feet and he is a real handful there. It is all good if they would all be in and we could build something, but we haven’t been able to do that yet.’

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