Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is impressed by how quickly new signing Mohamed Salah has adapted to manager Juergen Klopp’s high energy style and believes the Egyptian winger’s raw pace will give the team an added dimension next season.
Salah was on target in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, lifting Philippe Coutinho’s pinpoint lobbed pass over the keeper for his third goal since signing from Roma last month.
“He’s really flying,” Wijnaldum, who scored Liverpool’s second, told the club website.
“He has settled in really well. He’s not only a great player but also a great person, and that makes it easier for him but also for us to accept him.”
Winjaldum is relishing the prospect of Salah’s acceleration being added to an attack that already contains the pace of Senegal international Sadio Mane.
“It’s always good to play with good players,” he added. “And when they are quick… that makes it easier for us because the opponent has to be aware of two quick players and that creates space somewhere else in the team.”
Left-back Andy Robertson and striker Dominic Solanke, who was also on the scoresheet, are Liverpool’s only other additions so far, with the club reported to have abandoned their pursuit of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita.
Their pursuit of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk has also stalled, with Liverpool publicly ending their interest in the player after a complaint by his club.
Van Dijk has since asked to leave Southampton and as a result was made to train on his own before being left behind while the team travelled to France for a training camp.
For Liverpool’s Adam Lallana, however, competition for places has already improved regardless of who else is signed.
“There are 30 players out here with three goalkeepers and a few young lads,” he said. “That’s a hell of a lot of players. You only have to look at the substitutions the manager can make. He’s now replacing pace with pace and goals with goals.”
Lallana also backed striker Daniel Sturridge to shine next season, following his well-documented struggles with injuries.
“He has come back from the summer looking absolutely brilliant, so fit. He is going to be a massive player for us this season. I can feel it,” he added. “You couldn’t put a price on him.”