In the league, Mohamed Salah’s seven goals stand him second amongst scorers. In all competitions, he has 12 goals and four assists, a goal involvement every 84 minutes he’s been on the pitch. It’s a world class return for the 25-year-old Egyptian winger, who has quickly proven any doubters wrong on his return to England.
And while he was always a player Jürgen Klopp rated highly, the Liverpool manager says a big part of why the club made him their top transfer target and moved so hard for him early in the summer was because the scouts and backroom staff were pushing Salah as the best attacking target out there and available to the club.
“We were sure he could help us,” Klopp noted. “Michael Edwards, Dave Fallows, they were really in my ear and were on i—come on, come on, get Mo Salah, he’s the solution! When you have 20 players on the table, different players, it’s sometimes difficult to make an early decision, but we all were convinced about it.
“We made the early decision so we could really go for him. He’s a fantastic person, a nice lad, and a really good player. I didn’t think if he can score 12 goals or whatever in 17 games. I hope he’s not finished now! It would be nice, if we talk after the season, about different numbers—and both numbers should be much higher.”
Salah’s signing looks even better given Liverpool managed to pay less than £40M for the winger they had tried but failed to sign three-and-a-half years earlier. Given his return and the way the market took off later in the summer, getting a player as good as Salah for as little as Liverpool paid was a fantastic piece of business.
In part it was made possible by selling club Roma’s need to balance the books by the end of June for Financial Fair Play reasons, but even then it seems a little shocking in retrospect that there was no real competition for the player’s signature—the possibility of which was a major concern for both Klopp and the recruitment team.
“We watched Salah so often, saw him so often,” Klopp added, touching on the fact that, even at the time, it was hard to understand how Liverpool were Roma’s only serious suitors with the Serie A side needing to sell. “The scouting department was really behind me, and wanted to do it even earlier so that nobody could jump in.”
Fortunately for Klopp and Liverpool, though, they were given that opportunity—the chance to land a world class attacking star for a bargain price and with no serious competition for his signature. And with every goal he scores now, that all seems a little harder to believe.