Mohamed Salah is ready to light up the Premier League again after committing his long-term future to Liverpool, claims Jurgen Klopp.
Last season’s Golden Boot joint-winner, who shared the prize with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, signed a three-year contract last month to calm fears he could quit Anfield.
Salah’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season, when he would have been able to walk away as a free agent.
Now that Liverpool have him tied down to fresh terms, the player and club can focus on chasing more trophies, having lifted the FA Cup and EFL Cup last term.
“Knowing where he will be for the next important years of his career – I wouldn’t say for the rest of his career because he can play much longer – that gave all of us a boost, him as well,” Klopp said.
“It’s much better than if there was any contract [to resolve] next summer.”
Thirty-year-old Salah’s new deal served as a pick-me-up for a club who were pipped at the post for the Premier League and Champions League titles in late May, dashing hopes of an unprecedented quadruple.
Plenty of memorable goals in here
Enjoy every opening day strike under the boss pic.twitter.com/ojgTbZfodq
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 4, 2022
There is likely to be at least one new challenger for the league’s top scorer prize in the new season, with Erling Haaland having arrived at Manchester City after racking up 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund.
Liverpool’s new recruit Darwin Nunez may also have an eye on the honour, but Klopp suspects Salah will only be interested in the Golden Boot when the season nears an end.
“People are motivated by different things and i think Mo’s biggest motivation is to win football games and to score,” Klopp said.
“I don’t think he looks about other players and how many they’ve scored. That may be in May when he has hopefully 34 or 35 and the other two have 32. Then maybe, but before that I can’t see that.”
Klopp has no doubt Salah would have been motivated to perform even if he had just months left to run on his Anfield deal, but the Liverpool manager accepts there would have been incessant talk about such a scenario.
“Mo would have been the same person, I’m 100 per cent sure he could have pushed that aside as long as he was only with us,” Klopp said. “But the world does not stop asking, and that’s a problem we are constantly facing.
“It helps, it’s much better to know as much as possible, even about the season after.”
Salah could match a record in their opening game of the season, with Liverpool tackling Fulham on Saturday.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 3, 2022
He has scored in Liverpool’s first Premier League game in each of the past five seasons and has seven matchday-one goals to his name, meaning he stands one short of a competition record that is held jointly by Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, who managed eight each.
The former England trio are three of the Premier League’s all-time goalscoring greats, with Shearer’s 260 strikes putting him top of the pile. Rooney (208) and Lampard (177) sit second and sixth on the Premier League era goals list.
Salah has scored 118 Premier League goals in 180 outings for Liverpool, putting him 10 away from matching Robbie Fowler’s club record in the competition.