Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed his wish to see Egypt fail to go past the group stage of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Ivory Coast.
The Pharaohs are in Group B of the tournament alongside Ghana, Cape Verde and Mozambique but according to Klopp, who will miss the services of top forward Mohamed Salah, he would want them out as quickly as possible for Salah can return to Anfield.
On his parting message to Wataru Endo and Salah as they go on international duty, Klopp said: “I said if I wish you good luck it would be a lie! No, I do, obviously! From a personal point of view, I would be overly happy if they go out of the group stage! But it’s probably not possible, so it’s fine and then they can go and win it as well.
“Good luck, see you, and come back healthy – that’s pretty much the words. Now we have to deal with it and will deal with it. Of course, you see the recent games and then you think, OK, that looks a bit strange. But I am pretty positive we will find a way, but we have to show that obviously on the pitch.”
On preparations Liverpool have made for Salah’s absence on the right-hand side, Klopp quipped: “Not really a lot, but I think we played against West Ham without Mo on that side, when Harvey [Elliott] played there. We all know we have – in the moment, and hopefully it stays like that – different offensive options who can all play that wing. In a different way.
“Nobody else who plays that wing should play like Mo, it’s not possible, so we just have to find another way and have to use the boys to their skills. That’s exactly the idea behind it.”