Virgil van Dijk believes Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah doesn’t get the wider credit his record-breaking exploits deserve.
The Egyptian moved level with Robbie Fowler, joint sixth on the club’s all-time list of scorers with 183 goals, when he turned home what proved to be the winner in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest.
Salah has reached that total in just 298 matches – 71 fewer appearances than Kop icon Fowler. He now boasts 27 goals in all competitions this season and has also provided 11 assists for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
“Mo will definitely be seen as a legend. He’s such an important player for us,” Van Dijk says.
“At a later stage I think the things he’s done will be appreciated a lot more by the outside world.
“For us, we appreciate everything he does day in, day out. We see all the hard work that he puts in.”
Salah has netted in three successive Premier League games for the first time since October 2021 to help Liverpool mount a late push for European qualification.
Their hopes have also been boosted by the return to form of Diogo Jota, whose double against Forest made it four goals in a week after ending his year-long drought in Monday’s thrashing of Leeds United.
“It’s important for Diogo and also for the club that he keeps scoring. We were a big threat from set-pieces and that was good to see because we train on them a lot, especially on Friday,” Van Dijk adds.
“We are very privileged, going out there, performing for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“This season at times you’ve maybe had to remind yourself that we’re really blessed. Everyone wants to win, no-one wants to make mistakes and lose, and we’ve been very successful over the years.
“We just need to find that joy. I’m certainly happy and buzzing to be out there, trying to get good results and put a run together.”
The Dutchman admitted Liverpool need to tighten up defensively ahead of Wednesday’s trip to West Ham after Forest’s long throws caused chaos on Saturday.
“Yeah definitely, we didn’t deal with the set-pieces as well as we can and the second balls were a dangerous aspect of their game,” he says.
“It was down to the quality of them but still we have to do better. It’s been a very difficult season so far so to win after conceding an equaliser twice is a good thing.
“It’s something to keep building on. Let’s stay positive, find some consistency and try to enjoy the rest of the games.
“Let’s just focus on West Ham. It’s going to be tough. It’s been hard in recent years whenever we’ve gone there. They are still fighting so we have to fight even more and show how much we want those points.”