El Hadji Diouf pays tribute to Jurgen Klopp for development of Liverpool’s African players

Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Joel Matip and Mohamed Salah were integral members of Liverpool’s squad.

IMAGE CREDITS: GETTY IMAGES

Former Senegal forward El-Hadji Diouf has lauded Jurgen Klopp for his role in the development of Liverpool’s African players.

With just two games remaining as manager at Anfield before his departure, Klopp’s impact since arriving in October 2015 has been immense.

He has guided the Reds to seven major trophies, including the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League title the following season.

One of Klopp’s early signings was Sadio Mane from Southampton for approximately £34 million.

Mane played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s success, contributing 120 goals and 38 assists in 268 appearances over his six-year tenure before departing for Bayern Munich in 2022.

Additionally, Egypt international Mohamed Salah has been instrumental, scoring 211 goals and providing 87 assists in 347 appearances for the club.

Klopp’s influence extended beyond Mane and Salah to include fellow Africans such as Joel Matip from Cameroon and Naby Keita from Guinea, both of whom were integral members of Liverpool’s squad during their return to the pinnacle of European football.

Diouf, who spent two years at Liverpool between 2002-04, revealed that Mane credited Klopp’s personality as a key factor behind Liverpool’s success.

Speaking to rg.org, he said: “I don’t really know him personally but I’m very close to Sadio Mane, and Sadio tells me that [Klopp] is a great guy and the reason he had a very successful time at Liverpool.”

“He’s done great things for most of the African players.

“The Premier League is the best in the world, I was lucky to play there, and if today we get the chance to have a lot of African players, it will be great for the African game.”

Despite enduring criticism from a significant portion of supporters during his tenure at Anfield, Diouf expressed his hope for Liverpool to achieve the improbable feat of winning the Premier League title in Klopp’s final season.

With just two matches left, Liverpool find themselves trailing league leaders Arsenal by five points and second-placed Manchester City by four.

However, their title aspirations hinge on various outcomes, including a potential decisive result if Manchester City secure a victory over Fulham.

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