Liverpool confirm when Mohamed Salah will leave for AFCON

Liverpool have confirmed that Mohamed Salah will leave for Africa Cup of Nations duty after this weekend’s meeting with Newcastle United.

Egypt get their tournament underway on January 14 and a deep run in the tournament – they reached the final two years ago – would see Salah miss no fewer than seven games across all competitions, including Premier League clashes with both Chelsea and Arsenal.

“Mohamed Salah will link up with Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations following Liverpool’s clash with Newcastle United.” a club statement read.

Liverpool will also lose midfielder Wataru Endo after the same game, with the Japan international due to report for Asia Cup duty.

During Friday’s press conference, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted it was impossible to draw up a plan to cope without Salah.

“Each long-term plan I could have had depends massively on who is available so why should I think in October who should I use in January when Mo is away when I don’t know who is available?” Klopp said.

“We have solutions today and I hope we have that after Newcastle as well. It is not the first time, it is a really very average situation that you lose your goal scorer but we had it even worse in the past when both Sadio [Mane] and Mo left.

“But we came always through it and traditionally at least one of them went far in the tournament at least, which makes it even worse. We have to get through this. We know Africa Cup of Nations appears and Mo has to go and so we have to deal with it, that was always clear.

“And now we have with Wataru Endo his participation in the Asia Cup as well, so it’s like it is. We knew it and now we have to deal with it and we will.”

With the AFCON group stage running until January 24, Salah will definitely miss the FA Cup clash with Arsenal and both legs of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Fulham, as well as a trip to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Chelsea are on the cards for January 31, the day after the AFCON round of 16 comes to a close, while the quarter-final will end 24 hours before Arsenal are due at Anfield on February 4.

Should Egypt advance all the way to the final on February 11, Salah would also miss a visit from Burnley.

What we know 

  • Salah has been called up to the Egypt squad for the Africa Cup of Nations
  • Winger could miss as many as seven games if Egypt are successful
  • Wataru Endo also set to depart for the Asia Cup.

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