Mohamed Salah has become more clinical and stronger since joining Liverpool – but a former Roma team-mate believes he knows how to stop the Anfield goal machine.
Salah has claimed the PFA Player of the Year and Footballer of the Year awards after scoring 43 goals in 49 games this season while helping the Reds to the Champions League final.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are aiming to effectively guarantee qualification for Europe’s elite competition next season by avoiding defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.
At Stamford Bridge, Salah is expected to be in opposition to home defender Antonio Rudiger, who he played alongside at Roma.
And the Chelsea man has been impressed by how his former colleague has improved at Anfield.
“Salah is at the moment, for me, the best player in the league, but it is not only him that plays for Liverpool,” he said to Goal.
“We are very good (friends). He was already good in Roma, but when he was there he would sometimes miss chances. But this year he is very, very clinical as well as being more strong than he was in Rome.
“I am very happy to play against him, because also it is a big game. This is why I play football.
“But they also have (Roberto) Firmino, (Sadio) Mane and the guys at the back. They have a great team, scoring a lot of goals.”
Rudiger believes he has one attribute that will help him keep Salah in check at Stamford Bridge.
“If I play, it will be a direct duel against Salah,” he said to BBC Football Focus. “The good thing is, I’m not slow!
“To be very honest, he is the most polite guy I have ever met in football. He is a fantastic person.
“Of course, you are always a bit surprised but I know his abilities and his potential and I knew he would be good for Liverpool.”
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