Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk may think about leaving Liverpool if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.
That’s the view of Reds icon Robbie Fowler. Writing in his column for The Mirror today, Fowler suggested that having now entered their thirties, Salah and Van Dijk may not want to miss a season of ‘elite’ European football.
“I don’t think I’m being dramatic if I say that should Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League next season, then it will damage the club, both in terms of finances, and in terms of the players who may leave,” writes Fowler.
“I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the likes of Salah and Van Dijk thought they need to be playing in the elite European competition at their age, and can’t waste a single season out of it. I’m not saying they’d want to go, but it will be a question they may ask themselves.”
Back-to-back Premier League losses have left Liverpool looking vulnerable in the top four race. Defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday would be another hammer blow.
Thinking the unthinkable
At this point, there may be a few Liverpool fans who would grudgingly accept this scenario. Salah and Van Dijk in particular have hardly covered themselves in glory this season.
That may sound harsh on Mo, who has picked up well recently. But he too has been culpable of being well below his best for most of the campaign.
The Egyptian will turn thirty-one this summer, with Virgil celebrating his thirty-second birthday in July. Both have shown signs that their best days are now behind them.
As a result, could Liverpool think about selling them, if they did want to leave? It’s hard to see too big-a market for either considering the wages they’re on and the stages of their respective careers.
But there is an argument that if Liverpool are to have the overhaul they obviously need, you may as well start almost completely from scratch. Getting the two highest earners off the wage bill would allow for that to happen.
So, it isn’t the outlandish idea it might first appear to be. But still, we’re convinced that both Virgil and Mo have a flourish in them. On top of their game they are still two of the very best players in world football. If they’re happy to stick around at Liverpool without Champions League football, they’ll help us regain it the following season. But improvements need to be made. Big ones.
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