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The arrival of Darwin Nunez at Liverpool is ‘killing’ Mohamed Salah, reckons former Reds man Jose Enrique

The arrival of Darwin Nunez at Liverpool is ‘killing’ Mohamed Salah, reckons former Reds man Jose Enrique, who thinks the Egyptian has struggled for goals because of the Uruguayan.

Salah was not struggling for goals when he came off the bench and scored a hat-trick in a little over six minutes against Rangers on Wednesday night, but he has been a bit below-par in the Premier League.

Liverpool have been struggling domestically and Salah has netted just twice in eight Premier League games, which is well below what he would expect from himself.

Enrique believes this is partly down to the signing of Nunez from Benfica this summer, with the centre-forward seeing Jurgen Klopp push Salah to play wider, which is making him far less effective.

‘Mo Salah can definitely use the hat-trick to get back to his best,’ Enrique told Midnite. ‘In my opinion, the wingers used to be strikers really, close to the centre-backs, and Salah played yesterday as a striker.

‘But now with Darwin Nunez it has changed a little bit, he is the one who will run into the spaces and you have the wingers as being more open.

For Luis Diaz this is helping him, because he’s that kind of winger, but it’s killing Salah.

‘For his confidence he needs goals. So I’m not sure what he’s going to do against [Man] City, it’s going to be interesting. Because when he plays that central role, he makes a difference, he scores goals. But it’s definitely a big step, and Salah has to play a central role, not as wide as he’s playing now.’

Liverpool have won just two of their eight Premier League games this campaign and face a huge test when they host Manchester City on Sunday.

Enrique is not entirely surprised by their struggles this season, believing the departure of Sadio Mane and arrival of Nunez means their squad is weaker now than it was last campaign.

‘I think they have a weaker squad than they had last season,’ said the Spaniard. ‘You need to keep improving. You can lose Mane, even if I don’t understand it, but then they go for a 23-year-old from Portugal.

‘It was the first season he played really well in Portugal, and then he’s coming here and you’re giving him all the pressure of a number 9 at Liverpool, and you think he’s going to be like Mane?’

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