Paul Joyce has had his say on why Liverpool Football Club cannot afford to have Mohamed Salah be their statement signing of the summer and Jack Hallows agrees.
By the Reds’ calculations, Mohamed Salah will cost roughly £34.3m, making him the second most expensive signing in the club’s history.
That in itself is a statement that the club are looking to spend big this summer in order to move onto the next phase of Jürgen Klopp’s vision for the club.
They’re also signing a top drawer talent who managed 19 goals and 15 assists in all competitions last season and was only one of eight players to manage double figures for both across Europe’s five major leagues. Another statement of intent.
However, Paul Joyce of the Times believes that Mohamed Salah cannot afford to be Liverpool’s primary statement signing this summer and I agree.
Salah is evidently a fantastic – and much improved – footballer. His time at AS Roma has seen him evolve from a raw, young talent with pace to burn, into an established talent of the highest quality whose raw pace, creative streak and eye for goal will all add an extra dimension of devastation to the Reds already potent front three.
Joyce describes the Egyptian as “no longer classed as potential,” and believes that he should be given a starting role on the right flank with Senegalese talisman Sadio Mané moving to the left.
He believes the switch in flanks will be no problem for Salah’s fellow speedster and references the time that Mané tore Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich apart from the left flank back in his days at former club Red Bull Salzburg. Mané scored once, won a penalty and assisted the third in a 3-0 hiding.
Joyce writes that come the start of September, it shouldn’t matter whether Salah will or won’t be Liverpool’s most expensive player because “the honour will be on someone else’s Wikipedia page.”
He believes that by then “a new standard must have been set,” by the club, the manager and those in charge of the Reds transfer business.
First off, Joyce believes that despite the German club’s unwillingness to sell, the Reds should be “prising Naby Keïta from RB Leipzig,” at all costs in an act that would “be the equivalent of placing down a marker,” to rival teams. He believes that despite Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff’s recent comments to Bild, “every player.. has his price.”
Joyce also believes that “securing a deal for Virgil van Dijk would sit nicely alongside Keïta’s arrival, although that is now much more complicated because Liverpool were far too busy congratulating themselves at having persuaded the player his future was on Merseyside to actually submit a bid.”
Joyce also reveals that the ‘tapping up’ saga is not yet over, with the Premier League “still awaiting observations from both clubs before deciding whether to formally open a tapping-up investigation into Liverpool’s conduct.”
Joyce believes that it was squad depth that caused Liverpool’s early sprint to become a “desperate scramble over the line,” late last season as they clambered to a fourth placed finish on the final day of the campaign.
However, add in Salah, move Coutinho deeper and potentially throw the inclusion of a £50m man in Naby Keïta into the equation and all of a sudden the Reds attacking ranks look nothing short of world class.
The ball is now firmly in our owner’s court. Fenway Sports Group simply must “spend bigger than before,” and cannot be caught “having over promised and under delivered,” as Joyce so brilliantly puts it, by the end of the summer window.
Salah can only be the start of what has got to be a summer of big transfer cheques and even bigger statements.