So Liverpool's first big signing — with apologies to Dominic Solanke and his devoted followers — of the summer has been completed, with Roma's Mohamed Salah putting pen to paper on a long-term deal with the club. The 25-year old arrives for somewhere between £30-35m on the back of a tremendous season with the giallorossi, and is expected to slide into the starting XI on opening day.
Having been close to signing for the Reds back in 2014 — with Chelsea scuppering the deal that time — there has been a sense of unfinished business surrounding the player and club, and at last the right balance of player talent, squad needs, and financial circumstance has been found. Manager Jürgen Klopp is characteristically excited about the deal.
“Mohamed has the perfect mix of experience and potential – this is a really exciting signing for us,” the manager told the club's website following the announcement.
“He knows the Premier League, he has pedigree in the Champions League and he is one of the most important players for his country.
“His record in Italy has been outstanding and he possesses qualities that will enhance our team and squad," Klopp continued. "I have followed him since he emerged at Basel and he has matured into a really good player.'
“His pace is incredible, he gives us more attacking threat and we are already strong in this area. I like that we will make it even more competitive.
“Most important though, for us, is that he is hungry, willing and eager to be even better and improve further. He believes in what we are trying to do here at Liverpool and is extremely keen to be part of it. He is very excited about performing for our wonderful supporters.
“He is an ambitious player who wants to win and win at the highest level; he knows he can fulfil those ambitions with Liverpool.
“I welcome him and his family into our Liverpool family.”
Not for the first time, Liverpool sign a player that has been on Klopp's radar for a number of years. The implication seems to be that the manager knows what he's getting and has a solid notion of how to get the best out of the player. Salah having been tagged early as a highly-rated target to enhance the offense this summer contributes to the idea that the manager has the support of the club's owners and is getting what he wants. Now to see if he's wished for the right thing.