Jurgen Klopp praises Mohamed Salah after 200th goal in English football
Liverpool are braced for a fresh approach for Mohamed Salah from the Saudi Pro League after Al-Ittihad missed out on signing the blockbuster star in the summer. Saudi Arabian clubs splashed the cash on a whole host of players during the summer transfer window, with the league’s director of football Michael Emenalo explaining that clubs will now only target players of the “highest level” in the future.
According to ESPN, Al-Ittihad are expected to return with a new bid for Salah in January after previously having a £150million bid rejected. Salah joined the Reds from Roma in 2017 and has gone on to bag 198 goals and 83 assists in 322 games for the club.
And Emenalo explained: “Whatever additional improvement that we need to do for any club, with time on our hands and preparation, we believe will be additions of the highest level. I’m hoping it (January) is not very busy, because I think the job that was done has been quite interesting and aggressive. And most of the clubs, I believe, have what they need.
“Hopefully the attention will now turn to work within the training facilities to improve these players and to allow the time to adapt and perform. I think we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish, which was to get our foot into the market and compete aggressively. But also we wanted to do that while giving every single club in the league an opportunity to improve. I believe we accomplished that.
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“And I believe that, what you’re seeing, in terms of the quality of the games and the performance of most of the acquired international players, is a vindication that the transfer market has been relatively well. And we hope that we will continue to perfect our process in the future.”
Saudi Arabia is set to host the 2034 World Cup after Australia pulled out of the running earlier this month. And Emenalo, who previously had roles with Chelsea and Monaco, has insisted the country will focus on developing their own homegrown players.
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“We know we are attracting world-class players now,” he added. “We know we have attracted local players who are interested in reaching incredible standards for their clubs and for the national team. And for them to do that, for them to be developed in the right way, the amenities and the infrastructures must be at the highest level.
“We’ve seen in places like England that sudden infusion of world-class players in the league has led to the development of local, world-class players, and I think that’s what is going to happen here. But you have to grow these players. And when you use the word ‘grow’ or ‘develop’, it means you have to look at the academies, you have to look at the younger ages. That’s where the development of the process starts.”
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