Egypt Under-23s coach Shawky Gharib has confirmed that the nation’s Olympics side will include Mohamed Salah, with the patriotic duty likely to deal a blow to Liverpool’s start next season.
Gharib told Ahram Online that the preliminary squad for the tournament staged in Tokyo will be ‘led’ by the likes of Salah and goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy, who plays for Egyptian club Al Ahly.
Goal report that the problem for Liverpool lies in the fact that the Olympics is set to run from July 23 to August 7, whilst the new Premier League campaign begins on August 8.
That would leave Salah missing pre-season with the Reds and also possibly the opening weeks of the season, unless Jurgen Klopp and Co. wish to risk throwing the ace straight in after the Olympics.
Salah is slated to be one of three overage players to join the Under-23s. Gharib added with the forward ‘one of the most important players in the world’ that ‘it’s normal to call’ on him for the Egypt squad.
Gharib also stated that the Egyptian FA will start ‘official talks’ with Liverpool over the man that will turn 29 years old this summer after the March international break.
Here is what Gharib had to say on the Egyptian icon:
“Egypt U-23 team’s preliminary squad will be led by Mohamed Salah and Mohamed El-Shenawy alongside another goalkeeper.”
“Salah is currently one of the most important players in the world and it’s normal to call him for Egypt’s Olympic squad. We will start the official talks with Liverpool after the international break next March.”
Salah is arguably the most popular Egyptian figure in the world, the nation can’t be expected to go to a global competition without the attacker, regardless of how Liverpool and their fans may feel about it.
After a troubled season, the last thing that Klopp and the side need is to begin the 2021/22 campaign with one of their key players missing, but it may be something that is impossible to avoid.