Don't let Salah do all the scoring: Milner

NEW YORK • James Milner believes Mohamed Salah can better the phenomenal impact he had at Liverpool last season but says his team-mates must ease the pressure on the Egypt international by sharing responsibility for goals.

Salah needed only one minute to announce his return when he scored the equaliser against Manchester City in the International Champions Cup game in New Jersey on Thursday, which Liverpool won 2-1. This was Salah's first Liverpool outing since the Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid.

He also struck the bar, created several chances and was involved in the stoppage-time penalty that enabled Sadio Mane to seal victory.

Salah scored 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool last season, including 32 in 36 league games.

Milner said: "The best players in the world aren't known because they just did it in one season, they do it over and over again.

"He (Salah) is more than capable of doing that. There is pressure when you have had one good year to deliver again but he is a top player. He's shown that. He's going to keep on improving.

"We need to keep improving as a side with him as well, and make sure that all the pressure is not on his shoulders to deliver goals and get us out of tough situations."

Liverpool have spent more than £170 million (S$303 million) on new players this off-season but securing Salah on a new five-year contract worth around £200,000 a week, without a release clause, was arguably the club's most important piece of business, noted Milner.

"I was never worried personally," he said. "You saw how well he played last season, improving, and he seems happy. So I don't see any reason why he'd want to go.

"The speculation (over Real Madrid's interest in Salah) is what happens when you have good players. That's a positive thing for us that when there's speculation about your players it means they are playing well and performing, and he obviously has."

Jurgen Klopp's squad face Manchester United in their final ICC game in Ann Arbor, Michigan today (tomorrow morning in Singapore).

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2018, with the headline 'Don't let Salah do all the scoring: Milner'. Print Edition | Subscribe