Liverpool’s star winger and top summer signing Mohamed Salah has today been named African Player of the Year by the BBC, with fellow club teammate Sadio Mané finishing second in voting and future Liverpool player Naby Keïta also in the running.
Salah signed with Liverpool from Roma over the summer in a £35M deal that, with add-ons, could eventually rise into the £40M neighbourhood but that by any metric must go down as the deal of the year in England—and possibly all of football.
"I want to be the best Egyptian ever so I work hard," said Salah, who accepted the award from club manager Jürgen Klopp. "I would like to thank my Liverpool team-mates and I also with Roma and my team-mates in the national team.”
The award spans the calendar year rather than lining up with the football season, and Salah’s resume over the past twelve months is simply unmatched, with the player kicking off 2017 by helping Egypt make it to the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Then, during Egypt’s road to qualifying for the World Cup, Salah scored five of their seven goals—and had a hand in setting up the other two—as he carried his nation to what will be their first appearance at the world’s biggest footballing tournament since 1990.
Meanwhile, at the club level, the award spans two stellar season. First with Roma, where he scored 19 goals and 15 assists during the 2016-17 season and was named the club’s most valuable player. And already for Liverpool he has 19 goals and six assists.
After Salah and Mané finished top two in voting for this season’s honours, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Dortmund placed third, Chelsea’s Victor Moses finished fourth, and future Liverpool midfielder Naby Keïta came in fifth.