John Aldridge isn’t sure that Mohamed Salah gets into Liverpool’s best Xi right now. The Egyptian is ‘struggling’ by his high standards.
Liverpool take on Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday in what will most likely be the biggest game of their season. Really, the only way it gets topped is if the Reds make the UEFA Champions League final.
A win, after all, would make them favourites to win the Premier League title. Defeat could be a death knell in their hopes.
Thus Jurgen Klopp needs perfection from his players. Everyone needs to be firing on all cylinders if they’re to get the win here but all is not well. Mohamed Salah just isn’t delivering for Liverpool right now – and that’s a problem.
Salah hasn’t scored from open play since February 19th against Norwich City. He’s only had one assist since then, too, with everything else coming from the penalty spot. It’s a run of form that’s a long way from his efforts to kick off the campaign.
His struggles really are an issue and they’ve got Anfield great John Aldridge wondering if the Egyptian actually makes the best XI right now.
Mohamed Salah at Liverpool
“I’ve been thinking about this over the last couple of weeks and it’s really tough, you know,” Aldridge told Sky Sports. “I’ll surprise everyone now. At this present time time over the last few games, if you’re going by form, Mo wouldn’t get in the team.
“As good as he is, as great as he is, and as much as we love him, on present form, he’s struggling. People might say he’s had his head turned and he’s got this contract situation in front of him that doesn’t help.
“He hasn’t scored for some six weeks now from open play and he’s just not himself on the pitch. Now I don’t know why that is but come Sunday, if he’s on the pitch, we need him like never before. It’s the biggest game of the season by far.”
Aldridge has a point, admittedly. Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané are all delivering more than Salah right now. They can also form a wonderful front-three that leaves no room for Liverpool’s star man.
But as Aldridge suggests, Salah will still play on Sunday. His best keeps him in the team, even if his form doesn’t. Liverpool’s best chance of winning is requires banking on Salah’s return to form at the Etihad.
Of course, Liverpool have consistently won games even with Salah’s struggles. That hints at teams possibly focusing on the Egyptian, limiting his chances but opening up opportunities for others. The Reds will certainly take heart in that against City.
But a return to form – and the scoresheet – of Salah would unquestionably bring them closest to a win.