Mo Salah impact at Liverpool unexpected, says Nigel Reo-Coker
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 15/02/18 12:45pm
Mo Salah's impact at Liverpool since joining from Roma in the summer was unexpected, according to Nigel Reo-Coker.
Salah - with his 30th goal of the season in all domestic competitions- and Roberto Firmino were also on target in Portugal and former West Ham and Aston Villa midfielder Reo-Coker was full of praise for the attacking trio, in particular Salah.
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"I don't think anyone expected him to have such an impact, he has had a terrific impact in that front three," Reo-Coker told Premier League Daily.
"He is enjoying himself, you can see [that] and he is playing some fantastic football. It is great for Liverpool fans but also for neutral fans to watch, I enjoy watching them tremendously."
Mane has not been as prolific as Egypt international Salah, and went five matches without scoring before the three against Porto, although he has still chipped in with 12 goals in 28 appearances.
"He is another who has had a big impact at Liverpool," Reo-Coker added of Mane.
"He has been fantastic and he is a player you would take even at 70 per cent [of his ability], he offers that creativity. He is like a diamond in the rough, he can make anything happen.
"Getting that hat-trick will do wonders for his confidence and I think he will be back to his best."
As for whether Liverpool can go on and win the Champions League this season, Reo-Coker remains concerned by the ability of their defence to keep out better teams, despite the addition of £75m defender Virgil van Dijk.
"The beauty of football is anything is possible," he said. "They are fantastic going forward, they really are, but I still feel they lack that leader defensively and they are vulnerable defensively.
He is like a diamond in the rough, he can make anything happen.
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"Against better opposition, they will be given a real game. With the chances Porto had, if they were playing Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain, what could the score have been?
"Liverpool's problem has always been that they look vulnerable on the counter-attack. Against teams with better attacks they look like conceding goals.
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"I think he [Van Dijk] is a great start but with any player that goes into a club, especially during the January window, he is not going to get that time because he has been throw in at the deep end.
"It will take time for him to truly settle in and I think they need to build around him. One man cannot fix the whole defence, they need a few more players in there."
The return leg against Porto is at Anfield on March 6 and with Liverpool in such a dominant position in the tie, Klopp may take the opportunity to rest some key players for the Sky Live game with rivals Manchester United four days later.
Watch Manchester United v Liverpool on Saturday March 10. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Premier League at 11:30am.
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