There are very few players who come to the Premier League and settle straight away. We all know that the Premier League is very imposing, and is considered physically superior and faster than most other European leagues. But the way Mohamed Salah has settled in to life at Liverpool is testament to his never say die attitude.
When it was announced during the summer Liverpool were interested again in the Egyptian winger I did not hold out much hope for him being a success at Liverpool. After all, he chose money over Liverpool in 2013 and joined Chelsea. A little piece of me was happy inside that he failed so spectacularly at Stamford Bridge and was shipped off to Serie A 18 months later. In total Salah made 13 appearances for Chelsea scoring just the 2 goals.
Salah, though did not let his miserable time at Chelsea deter him from proving his doubters wrong, and reinvigorated his career at Roma. His confidence came back and he was back to his best terrorising defences all over Europe. Last season for Roma he scored 19 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions a goal ratio of 1 goal every 3.7 games. It was this kind of form that caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp and it was no surprise that he was one of the German managers top transfer targets last summer.
Being honest I had not followed Salah’s career after he left Chelsea. I did not even check out his performances for Roma last season because I was convinced that if he came to Liverpool I would have to wait until next season to see his best.
Thankfully the King of Egypt proved me wrong. He took to Liverpool and the Premier League like a fish to water. Playing alongside Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho; Salah has been world class. If he had any nerves about returning to the Premier League, he didn’t show it.
In his 17 games so far for Liverpool this season he has scored 12 goals. That’s 12 goals in an average Liverpool team and has scored against some of the best defences in the league. His presence in the side’s attack has helped them overcome one of their major problems from last season, that is not scoring goals against the so-called lesser teams in the league.
Liverpool fans have started to compare Salah’s start to the season to Luis Suarez’s last season at Anfield. I would argue that Salah’s start to the season is better than Suarez’s. Unlike Suarez, Salah is all about the team. If there is a goal scoring opportunity for one of his teammates he will pass the ball rather than try and go it alone. This is one of the criticisms I had of Suarez when he was at Liverpool.
Salah’s arrival dispels the notion that Liverpool are a one-man team. We all saw how Klopp’s team struggled last season when Mane was away on African Cup of Nations duty. Without Mane, Liverpool were toothless in attack and because of this nearly missed out on a place in this seasons Champions League.
So far this season Liverpool have been without both Mane and Coutinho in attack and it has not mattered as much. While I may be Salah too much credit, his impact on the Liverpool team is there to see. He is Liverpool’s player of the season so far.
He has created 16 chances in the Premier League, scored 7 goals and has 2 assists to his name. He also has a shot accuracy of 70%. With him in the team Liverpool have only lost to Manchester City and Spurs this season and currently sit on top of their Champions League group in a great position to qualify for the knock out stages, something the club have failed to do since Rafa Benitez left the club.
While Manchester City are currently the team to beat in the Premier League this season I firmly believe that if Liverpool can get all four of their first choice forward players playing together for 10-12 games in a row, a spot in next seasons Champions League is a real possibility.
I can only see City out-scoring Liverpool this season and hopefully Salah can stay fit and prove to be the catalyst for Liverpool winning some sort of silverware this season