Dejan Lovren defends Mohamed Salah against 'lies'

Former Liverpool centre back Dejan Lovren has come to the defence of Mohamed Salah, with the Egyptian subjected to criticism amid his return to Liverpool.

Salah flew back to England earlier this week to start an intensive treatment programme on the injury he sustained at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The winger pulled up during the first half of Egypt's second group stage game against Ghana and had to be substituted after suffering what was later revealed to be a hamstring tear.

While the damage was initially predicted to be minor, Salah's agent, Ramy Abbas, later stated that his client could be out for up to 28 days – putting further AFCON participation in serious jeopardy.

In order to have the best chance of being fit again to make the final – should Egypt advance that far – Salah returned to Merseyside to undertake treatment with the Liverpool medical team.

That decision – though made together by the Egyptian FA and Liverpool – has caused some controversy in Egypt, with some critics insisting Salah, as team captain, should remain with his teammates in Ivory Coast.

Former Pharaohs stars Ahmed Hassan and Mido were among those to hit out at the Liverpool No. 11.

Agent Abbas said he has 'taken names' as his client was attacked in the press, while Jurgen Klopp has called Salah the most loyal Egyptian he has ever met.

Mohamed Salah plays for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Mohamed Salah - Pro Shots

The manager said: "Egypt and Liverpool have exactly the same interest: we want Mo Salah, as quick as possible, fit.

"If he is fit… if he stays there and they can’t do the proper treatment, that will just delay everything; especially for Egypt if they go through the tournament. So we bring him here, not because we want to take him away from Egypt, but to offer the best medical treatment. It’s all we want.

"If somebody questions the loyalty of Mo Salah, he should ask himself if his loyalty is right because Mo Salah is the most loyal Egyptian I’ve definitely ever met in my life."

Meanwhile, Lovren – a close friend of Salah's – also hit back at the bizarre criticism of his former teammate.

The 34-year-old Lyon star wrote on Instagram: "When the hate don't work, they start telling lies. Keep strong brate [brother]."

Lovren and Salah famously formed a close bond during their time together at Anfield, with the defender frequently posting about their friendship.

Last summer, the pair were pictured enjoying a reunion during pre-season, and filmed an ad together for Pepsi in Egypt.

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