Cody Gakpo of Liverpool thinks his team has enough offensive potency to handle Mohamed Salah’s absence when the Egypt international leaves for the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
In a 2-0 victory over Burnley on Tuesday, Darwin Nunez broke a 12-game goalless streak, and Diogo Jota returned from the bench to score his first goal after missing a month due to injury.
This move sent Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table.
Salah will play one more game for Liverpool this Sunday against Newcastle at home before leaving for the African Nations Cup.
The 16-goal winger might be gone from Anfield for up to a month while on international duty.
Nunez and Jota’s goals against Burnley were therefore especially welcome, considering that Gakpo has already scored seven goals this year.
“For every attacking player who didn’t score for a few games, it’s always nice to get back on the scoresheet and Darwin did it with a very good goal,” said Gakpo.
“For Diogo as well. When you are injured and you come back and score that’s always nice and good for the confidence. So really happy.
“Mo is gone after the Newcastle game so we need the goals.
“Of course, I think I can contribute even more.”
Liverpool captain Virgil Van Dijk added: “It’s always important for the guys up front to score goals.
“I am delighted for Darwin. Diogo, it’s the same story. It’s good to see the boys back on the scoresheet.
“I also want to say that Cody was outstanding, in the first half especially.
“It’s good to see. Everyone has to keep pushing each other.
“That’s the only way we can get better,” the Netherlands defender explained.
“Others have to step up anyway. We have to deal with losing Mo and we have the players up front who can make the difference.
“Let’s see how we deal with it.”
Arsenal will move back to the top of the table on Thursday if they defeat their London rivals West Ham at home.
However, Liverpool is now two points ahead of the Gunners.
“The table is not looking in a bad place but we have to take it one game at a time, don’t let our heads go everywhere all over the place, just stay focused and keep doing what we are doing now and even improve more,” said Gakpo.
The hectic Christmas and New Year’s calendar in English football is new to the 24-year-old Dutch attacker, who is having a great time as the games come thick and fast.
“It’s the first time I played with this intensity – a lot of games in a few days – and it’s nice as if you play a good game you can play again and if you play a not-so-good game, you can make it good in the next game as it’s coming nice and quick,” he said.
“Everybody wants the three points – also the opponents – so you have to work really hard every game and you have to be able to win games different ways.”