Mo Salah has received critics this season but data analysts have highlighted his creativity. The Liverpool star isn’t ‘in his armchair’.
Graeme Souness had some interesting comments about Mohamed Salah earlier in the season. He wondered if the Liverpool star was coasting a little.
“I’ve not seen the same Mo Salah this year and I just hope, he’s signed a big contract that he wanted and at this level, if you knock off by one or half a percent you’re not the same player,” he told Sky Sports.
“I hope it’s not him getting semi in his armchair. And I’m saying that as a Liverpool supporter, hopefully to make him angry and prove me wrong.”
To be fair to Souness, he’s far from the only one criticising the Egyptian. Last season’s Golden Boot winner has only scored twice in six Premier League games, after all.
But as we pointed out, people were reading Salah wrong. No, he wasn’t scoring but largely because no one was creating chances for him. Instead, the Liverpool star created the chances for the Reds. And created more than anyone in the Premier League.
Well, fast-forward three weeks and that’s still the case. Though, Salah is actually even more creative than we thought.
Data highlights Mo Salah this season
The Analyst posted interesting data on Twitter this week. They showed a chart of the Premier League’s most creative players, combining those who provided a pass for a shot and those who played the pass-for-the-assist. We didn’t include the latter in our own data back on September 4th.
And, in fact, Salah has provided zero passes in the latter category. Despite that, he’s still the most creative player in the Premier League. The Liverpool no.11 has provided so many passes for shots that you can include a whole other metric for creativity – one he doesn’t score in – and Salah is still on top.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that he’s played fewer minutes than three players in the top six after postponements. Kevin De Bruyne, unsurprinsgly second, has played exactly the same number as Salah. The only player in that top six with fewer is Trent Alexander-Arnold – a player also under scrutiny this season.
So we think it’s pretty fair to say that Salah isn’t playing badly this season at all. He’s simply playing differently, and once he finds the goals again, he should be back at his brilliant best.