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Mohamed Salah deserves more credit for Liverpool's outstanding season

Once again, Mohamed Salah has showcased he is perhaps the greatest ‘one-season-wonder’ European football has ever seen.

While still, the Egyptian has yet to produce the same eye-watering attacking figures Salah managed to conjure up during his debut season at Anfield in 2017/18, his standards have remained breathtakingly consistent.

For the third consecutive season, Salah finished as Liverpool’s most prolific marksman ahead of Sadio Mane, who is amongst the favourites to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Indeed, Salah is still prone and occasionally guilty of squandering chances in key moments yet he is still able to deliver devastating figures year-in-year-out.

Remarkably, in all competitions this season, Salah has directly contributed to 36 goals this season in just 48 matches.

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In his 121 PL appearances, he averages an impressive 0.68 goals per game.

One reason perhaps Salah has gone under the radar this season in terms of individual accolades is that his form has suffered a dip since Project Restart.

 

There was always going to be a natural drop-off after Liverpool secured the Premier League title in record time and Salah was certainly fell victim to that notion.

He managed just three goals in Liverpool’s nine post lockdown fixtures. Yet during the long stretch, he scored 16 goals and registered six assists, he was outstanding.

Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (L) and Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) pose with the Premier League trophy during the presentation following the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on July 22, 2020. – Liverpool on Wednesday lifted the Premier League trophy at the famous Kop stand at Anfield after their final home game of the season. With no fans able to attend due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool said the idea for the trophy lift was to honour the club’s fans, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged fans to respect social distancing measures, after thousands gathered around the club’s stadium and in the city centre following their coronation as champions last month. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Deserves to be held in the highest regard

Earlier on in the season, Salah toiled in his notorious right-wing position but was also occasionally deployed centrally as well.

Salah’s criticism has perhaps come from being unable to replicate his goal-scoring prowess as efficiently in recent seasons.

For the first time since his £34 million arrival (BBC) in 2017, Salah has failed to break 20 PL goals with his tally for the campaign gridlocked on 19.

During his inaugural season at Anfield, he managed 32 PL goals while the previous year he finished with 22. This has lead to a gradual increase each year yet the numbers are still the best in a team that has won the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup and Super Cup in the space of a year.

Another factor is that Salah has failed to score in three consecutive league matches this season for the first time in his Premier League.

Salah is still able to find the net but he is not doing it as regularly as he has in the past which could be why he isn’t held in the same esteem as others as rather than getting better each season, Salah was never going to replicate the ridiculous numbers of two years ago and has become a victim of his own success.

Since his Anfield arrival,  Salah’s goal contributions for Liverpool are only bettered continentally by Lionel Messi. In his 150 Liverpool appearances, the former Chelsea forward has been directly involved in 134 goals.

Without Salah, there is no questioning that Liverpool’s recent global domination would not have been possible. He remains one of Klopp’s most durable and influential figures and has showcased through his physical prowess that he can be a mainstay for years to come.

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