The Reds are absolutely flying in the Premier League right now, sitting nicely at the top of the table, 22 points ahead of City. Liverpool are on their way to the first-ever Premier League title, thanks to their exceptional front three – Salah, Mane, and Firmino. Mo Salah, in particular, has been in a fine form with 14 league goals and 6 assists. While the Egyptian will be chasing all the possible glory this season, he is likely to miss Liverpool’s 2020-21 pre-season due to international commitments.
Salah to Tokyo?
Egypt have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations. The squad is allowed three players over the age of 23 at the Olympics and Egypt’s U23 coach, Shawky Gharib, plans to call Salah for the Summer Games.
“Out of the three senior players we’ll call up, Salah is the only one we’re settled on so far because he’s simply one of the top three players in the world,” Gharib told ON Sport.
“Nobody from the Olympic national team technical staff contacted Mohamed Salah to talk about it. We left it with [head of the Interim Committee for Football Affairs in Egypt] Amr El-Ganainy, who should contact the player.
“Honestly, Salah’s participation with us seems to be very hard. If he accepts, he will need to put in a big effort to persuade Liverpool.”
Getting Liverpool on-board will indeed be a task for Egypt, given Mo Salah’s constant involvement in the club and international football for the past few years. The forward has hardly had a break since the start of 2017-18 season, due to FIFA World Cup in 2018 summer and Africa Cup of Nations in 2019. And not to mention, Liverpool’s hectic schedule in EPL, UCL, Club World Cup and domestic Cup competitions. If Salah decides to join Egypt on the flight to Tokyo, he will be missing out on summer vacations for the third straight year.
More Problems for Klopp:
Salah and Sadio Mane are also expected to be on the international duty in January 2021 for the Africa Cup of Nations. The hosts Cameroon have decided to switch from Summer format to the start of the year due to weather reasons. This means the big African names in the Liverpool squad will miss the league action for a month. That will only make things difficult for Egypt to get Salah on the flight to Tokyo.
Jurgen Klopp has already talked about the workload of football players due to various competitions. The German coach is currently on a winter break with the squad and did not even field the senior side for Liverpool’s FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury.
But Salah’s agent has already stated on Twitter that no final decision has been yet made on the player’s international involvement in Tokyo.
16 teams will participate in men’s football at the Tokyo Olympics as Brazil will look to defend the Gold medal. The football event will start on 22nd July, 2 days before the Opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.