Mohamed Salah has 36 goals from all competitions this season, during which the 25-year old Egyptian International has achieved a high point in his career.
The strange thing about Salah is that this is his second spell in the Premier League, and this is moment in which he is announcing to the soccer world that he deserves a place among the very best. Few pundits and soccer fans saw this coming at the beginning of the season.
After spending time in the Premier League with Chelsea, where he only made 19 appearances for the club between 2014 and 2016, very few predicted that he would be playing at the level that we see this season. Most people believed that he was one of the Premier League flops and that his style isn’t suited to England — and that is why there is a lesson to be learned here. Perhaps certain players can’t perform under certain coaches no matter how good they are.
Rumours from the Spanish capital are that Salah’s name keeps appearing in the conversations around Santiago Bernabéu, and we all know what happens when Real Madrid and Barcelona come calling — but how good is Mo Salah?
After scoring four goals for Liverpool in Saturday’s win against Watford, Jürgen Klopp expressed his belief that Salah is on the way to Messi’s level. This is a huge statement, as we all know that reaching Messi’s level means scoring at least 50 goals every season, creating plenty of goal-scoring chances for your teammates, and consistently playing at the highest level possible so that the whole team relies on you season after season. That is not something that can be managed easily, so we can’t start talking about any comparison with Messi after a one-season wonder, but we can start talking that way after Salah consistently performs at this level for few seasons.
Salah is a different kind of player who deserves recognition of his own. What we see now is a goal-scoring machine, a young man who is happy to play for Liverpool and in England, and a player who is focused and maturing slowly. History tells us that he has now scored more goals than any other Liverpool player in their first season at the club.
Big challenges are coming to Mo Salah, and taking Liverpool to the Champions League final is one of them. The all-English quarter-final affair means that Salah and Liverpool will have to make sure they are playing at the highest level possible to negotiate their way against the genius of Pep and Manchester City. Performing on a bigger stage is what differentiates average players and the very best. It’s also this June that he will have to lead Egypt (a country that hasn’t gone to a World Cup since 1990) to an acceptable level of recognition among soccer nations in Russia. Egyptians around the world will be looking to him to transmit hope to a nation in which fans live and breathe soccer.
Mohamed Salah has a special talent, and if well taken care of, we could soon be talking about him in the same category as Ronaldo and Messi. He brings hope to both Africa and Liverpool — he is a special North African kid.