Liverpool face a significant setback as Mohamed Salah prepares to depart for AFCON, and could see miss eight matches.
Despite Liverpool’s recent 4-2 triumph over Newcastle United, placing them at the league’s pinnacle, a daunting challenge looms.
The decisive victory was largely attributed to Salah’s stellar performance. However, the imminent departure of the Egyptian maestro to represent his nation in the African Cup of Nations is undeniable.
Egypt bid for the glory beckon Salah. A substantial progression in the tournament could mean his absence from Liverpool lineup for approximately eight games.
This development presents a considerable challenge for Klopp. His team currently leads the league by three points and remains competitive in the FA, EFL Cup, and Europa League.
While Klopp has navigated similar scenarios in the past, the void left by Salah’s unparalleled skill will undoubtedly test even his managerial prowess.
Fortunately for the German coach, there are existing solutions within Liverpool team structure. However, these options are not without potential risk.
Two Players Who Could Replace Mohamed Salah During AFCON Exit
To fill Salah’s position, Liverpool could integrate a wide attacker into their lineup. This would pave the way for players like Diogo Jota or Darwin Nunez to take on central roles. In this capacity, Liverpool have two forgotten options.
The Scottish winger has consistently caught attention whenever he has been handed a senior opportunity by Klopp. He appears poised to emerge as a prominent figure in the future.
At only 18 years old, Doak has significant potential for growth and development, intensifying the allure of his talent.
This adept player shares numerous characteristics with Salah, such as rapid speed and agile footwork, enabling him to often outmaneuver his opponents.
Klopp has entrusted Doak with the responsibility of donning the senior red jersey on multiple occasions. However, stepping in to temporarily replace Salah presents a distinct challenge.
Gordon, like Doak before him, was recruited to Anfield with an eye on the future.
At the age of 19, the winger continues to be considered one of the promising talents poised to secure a regular spot in the starting XI. However, Gordon’s journey has been marred by a series of untimely injuries.
Liverpool successfully resisted competition from clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester United to secure Gordon’s signature. Additionally, Wayne Rooney, Gordon’s former manager at Derby, a figure well-versed in nurturing young prodigies, was instrumental in giving him his debut.
After a dazzling first showing, Rooney said: “I brought Kaide up with the first-team initially to train with us for a week to see how he reacted to it, and he was one of the best trainers.
“I kept him with us for a couple of weeks and he’s been training at the same level, if not to a better level to a lot of the other first-team players.
“As I said to the players: if you train hard and train well, I will give you your chance.”
Liverpool certainly have options to replace Salah, but now Klopp must decide how much of a gamble he is willing to take.
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