Mohamed Salah is back to what he does best: scoring and being an overall great person. After a stumbling finish to a banner year for the Egyptian that involved getting knocked out of last season’s Champions League before hobbling back for a disappointing and drama-ridden World Cup campaign, Liverpool supporters would have expected the Premier League record goalscorer to have a slow start to the year.
With things seeming not always quite come off for him in the first few games, especially by his now lofty standards, recent goal-scoring outings and positive displays against Red Star Belgrade and Cardiff City appear to have put the megawatt smile back on Salah’s face.
Sitting down with the Liverpool team website, the normally-withdrawn Egyptian opened up about his experiences since joining the club from Roma in the summer of 2017. The dream of wearing the Liver bird had been one of Salah’s personal goals much earlier than then, tracing back to when the Reds ultimately losing out on the then-Basel winger’s signature to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in 2013.
“There was a chance before, but at the time it didn’t work for both sides,” Salah admitted.
“When there was interest again last year, I was very interested in coming to Liverpool straight away in my head, but you also have to see what the plan for you is and how you will fit into it. Here I am now!”
The prolific striker initially received a lukewarm reception from Liverpool supporters at his signing. Many of the Anfield faithful had had their hearts set on the likes of Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic and Bayer Leverkeusen’s Julian Brandt and considered the former Chelsea flop a consolation prize.
44 goals and a magical season of brilliant left-footed finishes and blistering runs down the wing later, the Kop is singing a different tune, regularly serenading the Egyptian King with his own song.
“[The Egyptian King song] is the one I like the most,” the 26-year-old continued.
“After 10 or 15 games, I first heard it… I felt amazing. I had only been here two or three months, yet they already had a special song for me.
“It’s still the same for me even now when I hear it. I will always remember the day the crowd sang my name when I received the Golden Boot after the Brighton game last season. It was very, very special”
Dejan Lovren is known to be one of Salah’s closest friends in the squad, with the two bonding over their similar backgrounds fighting their way up from humble beginnings.
“I obviously met Dejan when I first started at Melwood and in the second week of pre-season we started to talk a little bit,” Salah explained. “But we became closer when we went to Dubai on a mid-season break and then Marbella for the first time for a training camp.
“Now we are always joking together, we’re very close friends now and like to have fun. He is always posting jokes about me on social media, but I like it. In fact, I always tell him I am making him famous in Egypt when he publishes a picture with me in it. He is a great guy.”
With the lethal marksman looking to have returned to his scintillating best, the Reds appear set to mount a serious challenge on multiple fronts this season. A date with Arsenal on Saturday will be another test that Salah will be looking to lead his team in passing with flying colors.