Jamie Carragher has warned Liverpool owners that they will never forgive if they allow club legend Mohamed Salah to leave the club.
Egyptian international Salah, whose current contract with Liverpool runs until the summer of 2023, has consistently expressed his desire to stay at Anfield amid ongoing talks over a new contract.
In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, Salah claimed he “didn’t ask for crazy things” during negotiations with Liverpool that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp insists are “in a good place”.
Salah, who is absent alongside Senegalese Sadio Mane in the African Cup of Nations at the United Nations, was absent as Liverpool failed to beat Arsenal’s 10-man squad in the Carabao Cup semi-finals on Thursday.
It was a performance that Carragher felt increased his importance for Liverpool, as well as the need to sort out Salah’s future as a matter of urgency.
“These two players [Salah and Mane] It’s obviously a big mistake and this talk of Salah’s contract is likely to get intensified because when he’s not there, you see the effect of that.” Sky Sports After Arsenal drew 0-0 at Anfield.
“As a Liverpool fan, you should be wary of this [Salah’s contract situation] slow down. Other top Liverpool players have signed contracts in the past three or four months, the goalkeeper [Alisson Becker]Trent [Alexander-Arnold], Virgil van Dijk, are huge figures on this team.
“Salah wants to get paid like any big player in the Premier League or world football, and why wouldn’t he do it? He deserves it, we are talking about one of the best players in the world.
“The problem and the angle that Liverpool might look at: Where will Salah go? The Spanish giant [Real Madrid and Barcelona] They are really out of the equation now given the problems they have financially. Will Salah leave and spoil his legacy by going to Manchester City or Manchester United? Probably not, so this might be a bargaining chip for Liverpool.
“I would like this deal to be done as quickly as possible. You can’t forget the price Liverpool signed Salah. It wasn’t like they went and spent £100m, they did what they’re great at and made a great deal. The money they invested in it. Indeed – transfer fees and wages – it was just a snippet.
“This is not a case of giving the player exactly what he wants, but Liverpool Football Club and his owners, I don’t think they would forgive if Salah left this club in the summer or in 18 months.
“He is a legend at Liverpool, and one of the club’s greatest players ever, and they should be ranked sooner rather than later.”
“A big landing without Salah and Mane”
Liverpool secured a numerical advantage for 71 minutes when Granit Xhaka received his second red card of the season – and the fifth since joining Arsenal – but the sub-par Reds failed to seize the go-ahead, as Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale was forced to join only one save.
And Klopp admitted after the draw, “There is no team that does not miss Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Nabi Keita.” “Were we better prepared? I don’t think so. That’s the situation.”
Carragher echoed Klopp’s assessment and claimed that the big withdrawal without Salah and Mane would give Liverpool’s upcoming opponents room for optimism.
“That was the thing about Liverpool, they have 13 or 14 great players they can really count on,” said Carragher.
“The great thing about Salah and Mane is not only their ability but the fact that they never get injured. They play every game.
“With Brentford at the weekend, the return leg and the Premier League game at Palace, rivals would look at Liverpool without Salah and Mane and think there’s a huge drop.”
Sky Sports analyst Paul Merson added: “The biggest concern tonight is if you’re a Liverpool fan? Salah and Mane. If they play tonight, that’s a different story.”
“You can take players out of Manchester City, and that doesn’t really make a difference. Take players from Chelsea, not really. Take players from Liverpool, it’s completely different.”
Arteta salutes Arsenal’s ‘brothers’
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta praised the defensive efforts that led his team to a goalless draw against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, but fears that it may have put Sunday’s north London derby in doubt.
With Xhaka now suspended, Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka injured after being out, four more players injured or out with Covid and four in the Africa Cup of Nations, Arteta could be without 11 players on the trip to Tottenham. Sky Sports.
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“I’m really proud of what the boys did today, on a tough court against a big opponent and playing 70 minutes with 10 men,” he said. “It was about the fighting, the spirit, the commitment and the quality to play the game.
“When you come to a stadium like this, you have to choose players who are happy to go to war because you will have to fight, you will go through difficult moments to suffer. You are willing to accept that you are not going to play the game you want.
“When you play in that spirit and you fight and brotherhood around the team, you get a bonus, and I think that’s what happened.”
But as to how the knockouts affect the Premier League match, Arteta added: “I don’t know. It’s a possibility in every game, from our side, from the opponent’s side, because of the scale of the problems. Everyone has and because it happens every week.”
“We try to prepare for matches thinking we will play. If something happens along the way, it is what it is.”