Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes winger Mohamed Salah can maintain his incredible goalscoring form for the rest of the season.
The Egypt international has netted 23 times for Liverpool in all competitions, equalling a club record set by Roger Hunt in 1961/62 for most goals in a campaign before the turn of the year.
Salah will hope to continue his hot streak against Burnley at Turf Moor on New Year’s Day, although Klopp revealed he will first be checked by Liverpool’s medical staff to assess a minor injury.
The 25-year-old was substituted seven minutes from time in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday having scored twice to help the Reds fight back from a goal down and secure the points.
“He was limping, and that is not a good sign,” Klopp said.
“I don’t know what is wrong. We will have to see what the problem was for the next game.
“But Mo can keep that standard for sure. It’s not just about scoring only, it’s about other situations. He is so important for us.
“He knows and I know he could not score without support of the other boys. But yes I think he can keep the standard.”
Liverpool’s win over Leicester was watched by new record signing Virgil van Dijk, whose £75 million ($100 million) move from Southampton will be formally completed when the transfer window opens on January 1.
The Dutch defender will not be eligible to feature against Burnley which means Klopp will again select from Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren.
– ‘Aggressive in a legal way’ –
Klopp does not think the arrival of Van Dijk will create nervousness among his existing centre-back contingent, even though their places will be under threat.
“That’s part of professional football with a new player,” Klopp said.
“The really good players will always say the challenge of a player in your position will help you. That’s how it is.
“I don’t think the boys were nervous against Leicester. I couldn’t see anything of that and they don’t have any reason to be because I am happy about the development of these players.
“The most important thing against Leicester was the defensive performances. I am happy with the concentration in all defending moments.
“They were aggressive in a legal way. The yellow cards showed the desire of the boys in this moment, that we wanted to turn this game.”
The Premier League title will almost certainly be beyond Klopp’s side this season given Manchester City’s form but they have the potential of runs in both the FA Cup and Champions League.
“We cannot go the season with two centre-halves and hope nothing happens. The third one is logical and if you have a fourth one it’s even better,” he said.
“We have to fight and battle with the biggest teams in world football. You cannot do that with just 11 and being best friends every day.”
Leicester manager Claude Puel admits his players must quickly pick themselves up from the defeat at Anfield for their clash against Huddersfield Town at the King Power Stadium.
“I am frustrated for my squad,” Puel said.
“I think we deserved something for our effort and unity against Liverpool.”