There are six better wide forwards than Mohamed Salah in Premier League history, and Manchester United have had three of them.
That’s the view of TalkSPORT radio host Andy Goldstein. Speaking on the show with Darren Bent yesterday, Goldstein – who is a United fan – named the players supposedly better than Liverpool’s record-breaking Egyptian.
“Just before the break I said to you I will name five better outside rights [than Salah]. But what I meant was outside strikers, left or right,” began the presenter. “So I’ve gone for Ronaldo when he was at Man United, would you say Ronaldo was better?”
“Ok I’ll give you that,” replied Bent, clearly exasperated with his co-host.
“I’ve gone for Ronaldo, Henry, Gareth Bale when he was in his pomp, would you give me that? Giggs when he was at United and either Hazard or Becks [David Beckham]. So there’s five. There’s six actually.”
Mo coming out on top
We’ll cut Goldstein some slack here because he’s just seen his team hammered 7-0 at Anfield. Of those seven goals, Salah had a direct hand in four. So, it’s fair to say that the pundit isn’t exactly impartial here.
But still, what a load of hogwash. Of the six players on Goldstein’s list, there are only two who can claim to be anywhere close to Salah’s Premier League legacy – Henry and Ronaldo. Henry is arguably the greatest player to ever grace the league. Meanwhile Ronaldo is one of the best players of all time full stop.
There are holes in claiming both to be better than Mo, though. Henry may have been a superior goal scorer to Salah, but that’s because he generally played closer to the goal. Despite Goldstein’s claims, Thierry was never a wide player over a long period of time for Arsenal. A better striker, for now yes, but not a better outside forward.
Ronaldo is a closer comparison due to the fact that he regularly turned out on the wing for United. But when he did so, he didn’t get close to the numbers Salah has. Even when he moved more centrally, the Portuguese legend hit more than 20 league goals only once at United. Mo has done it four times so far.
Of the other names Goldstein mentions, you could make a flimsy argument perhaps for Hazard and Bale. But as good as he was, Hazard never got anywhere close to Salah’s goal-scoring, while Bale scored 42 goals across six seasons at Tottenham.
These are all undoubtedly great players for one reason or another. But when comparing wide-men in Premier League history, only one comes out on top. All hail the King.
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