Mohamed Salah could miss up to four months of Liverpool’s season in 2020/21, should the Tokyo Olympics reschedule for springtime.
The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic that led to the football season being temporarily sidelined has taken no prisoners, including the Olympics, with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) last week deciding to postpone the games for up to a year.
Should they do so, however, it puts further strain on the football calendar, with a number of stars facing the choice between representing their country in Tokyo or staying with their club. One such player, of course, is Salah, who it’s fair to say is Egypt’s best player by a considerable distance. The Liverpool forward has netted 20 goals in 40 appearances at Anfield this season as his club side charge towards the Premier League title, but is set to be faced with a logistically tough 2020/21.
He is already potentially missing over a month of action due to the Africa Cup of Nations, which takes place between January and February, and should Olympic duty be thrown into that, The Star calculate he could miss up to four months of club football – virtually the entire second half of the campaign.
It’s unclear of course if Salah will decide to represent Egypt at both tournaments, but with Sadio Mané, along with Naby Keita, also set to miss time due to AFCON, it poses a big decision for Jurgen Klopp, who previously blasted the competition’s decision to reschedule for the winter.
He has said he won’t sell any of his stars because they are missing time due to internationals, but it could perhaps prompt action in the other direction. The Reds are already thought to be mulling over a move for Timo Werner (though the current situation may have slowed things down) and news that Salah could miss another prolonged spell might just kick that into life.