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getting better John Aldridge suggests Jurgen Klopp played a clever game with his comments on Mo Salah

John Aldridge believes Klopp made his comments to boost Salah's hopes of a speedy conclusion to contract talks.


Jurgen Klopp (left) and Mohamed Salah

Jurgen Klopp (left) and Mohamed Salah

Jurgen Klopp (left) and Mohamed Salah

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge believes Jurgen Klopp was playing a clever game of poker with Liverpool's owners when he suggested Mohamed Salah's best years are ahead of him.

Klopp made his comments last month as talks continue over extending Salah's contract, that is due to expire in the summer of 2023.

"For me, he is the best player at the moment. It’s incredible," said Klopp. "His consistency is absolutely incredible, and he’s getting better.

"It's how football is (now)… the best players in the world, two-three years ago, were 33-34… that’s the best age of a footballer.

"You understand the game better, you can judge the pitch better, you can see situations long before they will happen."

Now Aldridge has backed up Klopp's comments, as he suggested his personal experience confirms a player can reach his peak in the latter stages of his career, with Salah currently in talks with the club over extending his current contract that is due to expire in the summer of 2023.

Liverpool's owners have been reluctant to hand long-term contracts to players over the age of 30, but Aldridge believes 29-year-old Salah should be an exception to that rule.

"Klopp was very clever when he suggested Mohamed Salah will be at his best in three or four years time and make no mistake, that was a nudge to Liverpool's owners over this contract problem," Aldridge told sundayworld.com.

"The money that has been injected into football in recent years has polluted the sport in too many ways, but the end result is Liverpool will now need to pay their main man big money to keep him.

"If they don't pay him the money he is due, Salah would have every right to look elsewhere and the club's supporters will never forgive them if the world's best player is allowed to walk away from Anfield.

"It doesn't take a genius to work out that Klopp's comments made it clear that he believes Salah has plenty of years left in him, with this idea that players are past it when they hit their 30th birthday no longer applicable.

"Speaking from personal experience, I felt I got better when I was in my 30s, with my understanding of the game and the kind of runs that were effective to unsettle defenders improving as I got older.

"I was still playing until after my 39th birthday and even as my legs were going in the final phase of my career, the experience under my belt ensured I was still scoring goals until the end.

"Salah is only 29 and he has started his fifth season at Liverpool in the form of his life, so I fully agree with Klopp that he has his best years in front of him."

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Aldridge went on to suggest Salah now deserves to be hailed as the best player in the world, after a stunning burst of form in the opening months of this season.

"Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are on the wane and there is a vacancy for a new name to take over the mantle as the best player in the world, with Salah the man looking most likely to takle that on for the next few years," he added.

"Liverpool's owners need to realise that even if they don't want to give Salah a contract that will big the biggest they have ever given out, replacing the best player in the world will be much more expensive than keeping him."

Read John Aldridge's preview of West Ham v Liverpool in this weekend's Sunday World.

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