Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s and Egypt’s talismanic star, has lately found himself embroiled in the age-old tension between club and nation.
After hearing Liverpool‘s plea that the 31-year-old attacker sit out March friendlies, the Egyptian FA nevertheless chose to call him up to the squad.
Salah has only managed 35 minutes of playing time for the Premier League champions since the beginning of the year. Due to his involvement in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, he did not get much playing time.
Midway through January, in a 2-2 tie with Ghana, Salah unfortunately had a muscular problem, significantly complicating his fitness. Liverpool has been very vigilant in monitoring the recovery of their top scorer this season, who has scored 19 goals.
The club’s dedication to Salah’s recovery was on full display as they helped him rehabilitate at the AXA Training Centre. The winger returned for the Reds two weeks ago in a notable 4-1 win over Brentford. He returned after the Pharaohs failed to repeat their 2022 final participation.
Despite scoring a goal, his joy was short-lived as he experienced a setback with his injury during the tough match.
How did Egypt FA respond to Liverpool?
After that, Salah missed Liverpool’s previous four matches, including last weekend’s Carabao Cup final victory.
Jurgen Klopp said on Friday that Salah may return “next week, at any point”. The German boss also added that it is not “too far off” from now. Nevertheless, he didn’t utter those words with much confidence.
Liverpool has expressed concerns to the Egyptian FA in a letter, regardless of the player’s recovery from injury this month. The information from the Egyptian FA in their statement may not have surprised them, according to the Daily Mail.
“We have already received a letter from Liverpool to exempt Mohamed Salah from the upcoming camp due to his injury. We sent the name of Mohamed Salah among the professional players that we are requesting to include in the next camp a few days ago.
“It is our right to include any professional player as long as it is at the time of the international agenda, and the issue of whether or not to include him is in the hands of the national team’s technical staff, led by captain Hossam Hassan.
“It is still too early to decide the matter, and if Mohamed Salah plays any match in the time before the start of the camp, we will adhere to his inclusion, and he will be examined and his readiness determined by the medical staff of the Egyptian national team.”
What did Egypt coach say about Salah?
According to Egypt coach Ibrahim Hassan, it is solely up to his personnel to decide the fate of injured players. Egypt, Tunisia, Croatia, and New Zealand will compete in the Winsunited Cup in the UAE during the March break.
In Hossam Hassan’s debut game as Pharaohs’ coach, the team will meet New Zealand in the semi-finals on March 22. Although he promised to look out for the safety of every player, the decision rests solely with the national team.
“The national team coaching staff wishes success to all foreign-based players who have been selected to join the March camp, and we are keen to ensure their safety. In case of any player getting injured, the coaching and medical staff will decide on their status after their presence in the camp, and after we will coordinate with their club.
“I have been in contact with all the foreign-based players in the national team list in the past few hours to check on them and arrange with them regarding their joining dates for the camp.”
Photo credit: IMAGO / Newscom World
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