Liverpool’s move to tie Mohamed Salah down to a new contract is even more crucial than Manchester City signing Erling Haaland this summer.
So says former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy. Speaking on TalkSPORT, Murphy claimed that Salah’s re-signing is even bigger than Haaland joining City.
“The Salah re-signing is more important (than Haaland),” said the former Liverpool midfielder. “City won the league without Haaland, so you could argue they didn’t need him, although he does make them better.”
Murphy went on to claim that had Liverpool lost Salah as well as Sadio Mane, they potentially couldn’t have recovered.
“If Liverpool were to lose Mane and Salah in the same summer, I think it would be difficult for them to fill both those voids,” he said. “I know they’ve brought in Nunez and they’ve got Luis Diaz, but Salah’s guaranteed goals.
“If you look at it from a financial point of view, if it is 400 (thousand pounds per week), I’m not sure it’s probably that much, but even if it is, that’s £20m-a-year. Times three, £60m. If you were to go out and try to replace him, you’d have to spend more than that and the wages, so it’s a good business deal as well as a good football move.”
City fearsome with or without Haaland
There’ll be some who deliberately attempt to misconstrue what Murphy is trying to say here.
It isn’t that the pundit is trying to do down City’s sensational capture of the unstoppable Norwegian. More that for all that he will bring to them, he can’t take them too much higher than they’ve previously been.
Haaland can merely supplement what Pep Guardiola’s side already have, rather than transform them.
Salah, meanwhile, has already taken Liverpool to greater heights than previously imaginable. It’s worth looking back to when he joined the club in 2017. Liverpool had just returned to the Champions League for only the second time in eight seasons.
With the 30-year-old leading the charge, five years later and Liverpool are Premier League, and Champions league winners among other things, too. They’ve also now qualified for six Champions League’s in a row.
Losing Salah would have been disastrous for Liverpool. How do you replace a player who has 156 goals in 254 games? It simply isn’t possible.
City will be a fearsome prospect with Haaland in the side, no doubt about that. But then again, they already were.
Take Mo out of Liverpool, and they’d still be an excellent team. But would they still have that star quality in the forward line that can beat teams before a game has even started? That’s very much debatable.