Article by Imraan Adam @imadam786
He’s been a revelation this season; £34.3 million, 36 goals, 28 of them being in the Premier League and the world at his feet, this season has been life-changing for Mohamed Salah. After becoming a national hero in his native Egypt for scoring the penalty that helped them qualify for the World Cup, Salah has just got better and better with every game that goes by, so much so that now we are discussing where he ranks in terms of the very best in the world and how good can he become.
I must admit when I heard Liverpool being linked with Salah last summer I raised more than just my eyebrows, I don’t watch a lot of Italian football so in my mind he was still this Chelsea reject who went there with a lot of potential but never really delivered. I will gladly put my hands up in the air and admit that I got it wrong, and boy did I. The boy that left Chelsea three years ago has come to Liverpool a man, and a man with a point to prove.
In pre-season we saw indications that Salah would be a good fit for Liverpool and indeed it allayed a lot of my concerns about a player coming into the Premier League from Serie A. But what has come after I don’t think anyone could have predicted. The fact that even his manager came out last weekend and mentioned him in the same breath as Messi and Maradona is an indicator of how far Salah has developed, just in a matter of nine months. I mentioned earlier that he is on 36 goals for the season, it is also worthwhile remembering Salah is a winger, not a striker, which makes this remarkable feat even more incredible.
So what is the reason for this unbelievable rise? I think we have to give Jurgen Klopp huge credit for turning Salah into one of the best players in world football. Even though he is a winger the Egyptian has operated more centrally this season, sort of in between a number 9 and number 7 role and in doing this Klopp has created an absolute goal scoring monster. What has impressed me the most about Salah is that he is able to score all different types of goals; he can cut in off of that right wing and bend it in with his left, he can play off the shoulder of the last defender and wait for that through ball or he can just turn defenders inside out until they land on their backsides and then just slot it in from close range, either way he makes it look easy.
Normally as a defender when playing against a left footed player playing on the right, you are always told to show them down the outside, however this doesn’t work with Salah and he proved this on Saturday, he has the pace and power to beat defenders down the outside and still has the composure to find a finish, his first goal on Saturday against Watford was truly amazing.
So where does Salah rank with the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar? Well personally I wouldn’t swap any of the mentioned three for him. You have to remember Messi and Ronaldo have been about for years and even though it’s hard to imagine a world where those two are not the two best players in the world, as they enter the latter stages of their careers this was always going to be the case and now we have arrived at the point where Salah’s name should be mentioned alongside Messi and Ronaldo. Ronaldo has had a very poor season by his high standards so I think it’s fair to say that Salah has overtaken him as number two in the world, but even with Messi, if Salah hasn’t already overtaken him he is running him very close and it could even come down to who wins the Champions League as to which player goes into the World Cup as number one in the world. Liverpool-Barcelona final, Salah versus Messi, imagine that!
Naturally I think a lot of Liverpool supporters are going to be concerned about whether one of the big clubs will come in for Salah in the summer and if so what the outcome will be. I honestly don’t think fans need to worry about this, Salah came out and said last month in an interview with BBC’s Football Focus that he wants to win the league with Liverpool and I think that shows you a lot about where his heart and head are at the minute, he recognizes that he can achieve his ambitions with Liverpool and personally I don’t see why he can’t. He’s in a team with at least another two world class players in Firmino and Van Dijk, and I think we have another three players who are on the verge of greatness in Mane, Robertson and Karius. So unless it’s about money, and I don’t think Salah is that kind of person, I can’t see why he would want to leave this club, especially when we have a world class manager and we are going somewhere, clearly.
I think we are just seeing the beginning of what Salah is actually capable of and I think he is just going to get better and better as the years go on. People are talking about Harry Kane beating Alan Shearer’s all time Premier League goal scoring record, well if that is the case then I’ve got a little bit of advice for you Harry, keep one eye looking behind you mate because Salah is coming for you.
Article by Imraan Adam @imadam786
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