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Arsene Wenger Compares Liverpool's Mohamed Salah to Lionel Messi

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2019

In this Dec. 18, 2019 photo, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah controls the ball during the Club World Cup semifinal soccer match between Liverpool and Monterrey at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. Liverpool won 2-1. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Arsene Wenger has called Liverpool's Mohamed Salah "the complete player" and compared the Egyptian superstar to Lionel Messi.

The former Arsenal manager made the comments during an interview with Jurgen Klopp ahead of the Reds' FIFA Club World Cup final against Flamengo in Qatar.

Speaking to BeIN Sports (h/t Tom Olver of Metro), the Frenchman said he is impressed with how the Anfield forward has developed as a multifunctional player.

"I like the way of his evolution. Because he had touches last night [against Monterrey] of a playmaker."

"He created chances around the box that are exceptional, there were things of Messi in him last night and I like that a guy who can score so many goals also becomes the guy who gives assists."

"That is a complete player. That's what we all admire and what we want from our players."

Klopp was clearly pleased with Wenger's assessment and said Salah deals with the pressure of being one of the best players on the planet.

beIN SPORTS @beINSPORTS_EN

Jürgen #Klopp and Arsène #Wenger talk about the @MoSalah effect 🙂 Catch the full interview with @Ms3don this Saturday on📺HD1! #beINFIFACWC #ClubWC #beINWenger https://t.co/FZ7m8xrWC6

Salah started in Liverpool's 2-1 defeat of Monterrey in Wednesday's semi-final, and the forward is expected to lead the line with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in Saturday's final.

Mane and Firmino began on the bench but were needed as second-half substitutes, with Firmino netting the winner in the first minute of stoppage time.

The trio have taken Liverpool to new heights in recent times, and Salah has become a symbol of Klopp's attacking style.

The 27-year-old has 13 goals and six assists in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League this term, with the Anfield giants opening up a 10-point lead at the top of the English league.

Salah was impressive during his two-year spell with Roma before joining Liverpool in 2017, but Klopp, who began managing the club in October 2015, has developed the player into an iconic talent.

Messi's influence at Barcelona cannot be doubted, and Salah has become a talismanic figure in the mould of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.