Tom Burchill produces a scout report on Liverpool prospect Mohamed Salah following speculation he has agreed personal terms with the club.
Since silly season began, Liverpool have frequently been linked with wingers who will fit our preferred 4-3-3 formation.
It makes sense as last season we were plagued with injury and a lack of depth in this position was truly apparent. Klopp was forced to play Origi and Firmino out wide where both were unable to make an impact on the game.
When it comes to the winger position super signing Sadio Mané and golden boy Phillipe Coutinho are the first names on the team sheet. That being said, in the closing games of the season, Coutinho played a more central role where I believe we can all agree he excelled.
It’s no surprise that we’re in the market for a shiny new winger and no one better fits that profile that the Egyptian Prince Mohamed Salah. Does his name sound familiar?
In 2014, Liverpool held talks with Basel in order to sign the exciting young prospect only to lose out to Chelsea FC. Basel had snubbed Liverpool’s offer claiming it was too low in which time Mourinho personally called Salah and persuaded him to head to the capital.
For some reason, Chelsea never really gave Salah the chance I think he needed and similar to the way they treated Juan Cuadrado he was barely given any game time and was eventually sent on loan to Italy. During his time at Chelsea, he made 13 appearances and scored two goals.
To soften the blow, Salah has publicly stated that he likes Liverpool, saying, “I was waiting for Liverpool because I really like Liverpool. I was eager to join them.” Let’s hope he’s ready to make up for lost time.
But who is he?
Mohamed Salah is an Egyptian international who started his career El Mokalwoon after rising up through their academy. After breaking through into the first team he made 38 appearances and scored 11 goals. His time in Egypt was cut short following the Port Said Stadium disaster which resulted in the Egypt FA cancelling the remainder of their domestic season.
Following the disaster, Basel, who had been monitoring Salah for a while, organised a friendly with the Egyptian U23s. During the game, Salah scored twice despite only playing the second half and subsequently won his team the game 4-3.
Just like that Salah had landed in Europe. On the 15th of June 2012, he signed for Basel. Over the course of the two seasons he remained in Switzerland, he scored nine times in 47 appearances and perked the interest of Liverpool and Chelsea.
At Chelsea, as previously stated, Salah never really seemed to be given a chance. Arriving in January 2014, he was unable to break his way into the starting XI and instead featured a handful of times.
In the 2014/15 season, Salah only featured three times before being loaned out to Fiorentina on an 18-month deal. Despite this Mourinho still awarded him a Premier League medal for his contributions.
The loan deal to Fiorentina saw Cuadrado and Salah swap places and in Fiorentina, the latter was able to rekindle his form scoring six times in 16 appearances. At the end of that season, Fiorentina tried to make the move permanent but Salah refused and instead went to Serie A rivals AS Roma.
Roma is without a doubt the place where Salah has made his name. In his first season there on loan, Salah featured 34 times and scored 14 goals. Unsurprisingly, Roma then made the deal permanent last summer and signed him for £12,000,000.
Another season, same old story. Mohamed Salah has absolutely torn it up this year in Italy with 19 goals and 12 assists across all competitions. His preferred playing on the right wing (as opposed to the centre-forward role he features in for his national team) and this has allowed him to contribute to 31 goals.
Cynics will say “it’s the Italian league” and that we shouldn’t be paying double what he was bought for only a year ago but fortunately Klopp won’t listen to them. I personally believe we should do everything we can to obtain his signature.
His explosive pace, the way he reads the game and his eye for goal would complement our deadly system. The thing that is beautiful about Liverpool FC is that the goals come from everywhere and that’s something Salah can be a part of.
My only hesitation is that he prefers the right-hand side which is currently a position occupied by Mané and one he excels in. One of them would need to adapt to play on the left. Other than that though, he’s perfect.
People are cooing about Virgil Van Dijk, Keita and Lacazette but for me, this transfer prospect trumps them all. The sheer pace of this Egyptian Pharaoh will leave even Tottenham’s defence shattered.
And to anyone who’s thinking he couldn’t cut it at Chelsea they should remember some other players Chelsea have turned their back on. Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku spring to mind.
Spend whatever it takes. Get Salah to Anfield.