Mohamed Salah and Wataru Endo not going to the Olympics is the right choice

Salah and Endo were wanted by their nations as one of the limited over 23-year old spots on the Olympic roster, but the two will stay put this summer.
Egypt v Burkina Faso - World Cup Qualifier
Egypt v Burkina Faso - World Cup Qualifier / Sayed Hassan/GettyImages

There was some trepidation when it came to the forefront that 32-year old Mohamed Salah and the 31-year old Wataru Endo were being targeted by Egypt and Japan respectively to be a part of their Summer Olympics squads.

While the Olympics are typically a showcase of the younger talent in the sport, each nation does get a handful of players over 23-years old they can call into the squad.

Each nation must get approval from both the club and player for this to come to fruition as it is sometimes a battle of wills.

It's the right decision to keep both players at Anfield

With Arne Slot now the man in charge, this is going to be a summer of change and new relationships must be cultivated throughout the club.

If Salah for example, one of the biggest stars in the world, were to be off at the Olympics making a deep run, he would miss almost the entirety of the preseason with Liverpool.

There has been much speculation that Salah, who is entering the final year of his contract, might depart the club this summer, but that rumor has largely been squashed and the Egyptian superstar looks all set to spearhead the attack once again in 2024/25.

Mohamed Salah
Aston Villa v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Him getting acclimated to the Slot system and refocusing his energy on the club is a double positive for the Reds. In addition, not going away to Paris takes his injury risk way down.

The same can be said for Endo as well who very well could have a challenger coming in this summer so he should be eager to build on a solid albeit not breathtaking debut season at Anfield.

The Japan captain should be ready to show Slot and his staff what he can offer with so many other first team regulars still away at the Euros and Copa America.

He faded down the stretch of last season, as did a lot of players, so a full preseason should do him a lot of good in the long run.

Olympics don't have the draw of other major Continental competitions

If the African Cup of Nations and the AFC Asian Cup took place in the summer instead of January (If only) you can bet that both Salah and Endo would already have lined up with their respective national teams.

AFCON, AFC Asian Cup, Euros and Copa America are all held in much higher esteem in the football world than the Olympics.

Cody Gakpo
Romania v Netherlands: Round of 16 - UEFA EURO 2024 / Carl Recine/GettyImages

This again is a side effect of the Olympics mostly fielding only youngsters as it's their chance to shine before making the step to the next international level.

Simply put, to established stars like Salah and Endo, the prospect of a full preseason with the club preparing for the new season outweighs the possibility of getting an Olympic medal.

From a Liverpool perspective, this also makes more sense for them as well as they can integrate two big-time assets from Day 1 and they can also set the example for the bevy of youngsters that will be training with them as well.