Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah is “on the way” to reaching the same heights as Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, after the Egyptian international netted four goals in Saturday’s win against Watford.

Salah scored his first Liverpool hat-trick over the weekend, taking his goalscoring tally to 36 in all competitions this season.

The former AS Roma forward has 28 Premier League goals,  more than any other player across Europe’s top five leagues.

Klopp was asked where Salah ranks alongside the best forwards in the world like Messi and said to BT Sport:

“I think Mo is on the way. That’s good.

“I don’t think Mo or anybody wants to be compared with Lionel Messi. The last player I know that had the same influence on a team performance was Diego Maradona – another Argentina guy.

“Yes, Mo is fantastic, that’s for sure. But how it always in life, if you have the skills then you have to show it constantly.

“His consistency is very good for us; he helps us a lot. The boys love playing together with him [and] he loves playing together with them so it’s good”

Salah scored four in Saturday’s 5-0 mauling of Watford at Anfield, leapfrogging Tottenham‘s Harry Kane in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot.

The 25-year-old has now netted more goals than any other Liverpool player in their first season at the club.

Meanwhile, the ex-Chelsea and Fiorentina forward thanked his teammates for their support for him in reaching such a remarkable tally of goals this season.

He told BT Sport:

“I have to thank every one of my teammates, without them I couldn’t have reached these numbers.

“Each game we try to get the three points, that’s the most important thing, but every game I want to score, I want to help the team.”