Liverpool stars Diaz and Jota fired 'big' warning amid new development

By Gabriel Agbonlahor

19th Oct, 2023 | 5:51am

Liverpool are facing 'huge loss' as Mohamed Salah set for extended absence - expert

Gabby Agbonlahor has warned the likes of Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota they must “step up” with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah set to go to the African Cup of Nations in January.

The former Aston Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the Reds will find it “really difficult” to compete in the absence of the 31-year-old.

Egypt and Salah learned their African Cup of Nations opponents last week (12 October) – with the Pharaohs to face Mozambique, Ghana and Cape Verde in the group stage.

The tournament kicks off on 14 January and will see the Liverpool star miss at least one Premier League game.

Salah has been in inspired form for the Merseysiders this term, notching six goals and four assists in 10 appearances across all competitions.

Liverpool’s other forwards have also contributed, with Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota hitting four strikes – and Cody Gakpo and Luiz Diaz chipping in with three each.

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Agbonlahor told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I think they’re going to find it really difficult.

“If you look at that front line and take Salah out of it, they haven’t got a natural right-sided player.

“Salah is just so important. He lifts everyone’s game, and when you know you have a player like him on the pitch – you know you have to be on top of your game.

“It’s a huge loss, he’s Mr Liverpool and irreplaceable.

“But it means Jota has to start doing better, Diaz has to start doing better, Gakpo has to do more. They can all step up.

“If Salah were to get injured, they’d have to step up. This is the same thing – they’re going to have to rise to the occasion.”

In other news, ex-Liverpool chief’s response to Man United offer revealed.