Jurgen Klopp provides team news ahead of Liverpool's clash with FC Porto
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Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah was once again snubbed for the captaincy against Porto, despite playing from the start amongst a much-changed side. The Egyptian admitted his frustration at being overlooked in a similar situation last year, although boss Jurgen Klopp opted to go with another senior star for Wednesday’s Champions League clash.
Against Midtjylland in 2020, Trent Alexander-Arnold was given the honour of captaining the Reds, while against Porto, Klopp turned to Alisson Becker.
Salah has been Liverpool’s best player this season, and tipped by many as the best in the world thanks to his relentless goal-scoring exploits.
Into the final two years of his contract at Anfield, one would expect Klopp to be pulling out every trick in the book to keep the attacker happy.
The usual trio of captain candidates in Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Virgil van Dijk all started on the bench against Porto.
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But that was not enough to see Salah given the armband, despite an admission in 2020 which preceded a refusal to rule out a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.
“Honestly, I was very disappointed,” he said to AS.
“I was hoping to be the captain, but it’s a coach’s decision. I accept it.”
Klopp later claimed that he regretted the decision to give the captaincy to Alexander-Arnold, but only because he did not give it to Divock Origi.
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That was on the basis that the player who ‘has been at the club longest’ should receive the armband, at least in the German’s eyes.
Even so, Alisson arrived at Anfield one year after Salah did, and it was still the Brazilian who got the nod on Wednesday.
It remains to be seen how Liverpool’s star man will react, but in the same interview in which he admitted his frustration at being overlooked, he also made teasing comments about two Spanish giants.
“I think Madrid and Barcelona are top clubs,” he said.
“We never know what is going to happen in the future, but right now I’m focused on winning the Premier League and Champions League with my club.”
While Salah is in good spirits this season, Wednesday’s development is certainly more likely to hinder contract negotiations than help them along.
At present, the winger’s deal expires in 2023, and the hierarchy have been allocating plenty of time behind the scenes to establish new terms.
It was also reported earlier on Wednesday that his partner in crime, Sadio Mane, was in negotiations to thrash out a new deal too.
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