The narrative, at least in the first couple of months of the 2018/19 campaign, was that last year’s Premier League Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah was going through a “second season slump.” Indeed, in the 8 matches between the 1-0 win over Brighton and the 1-0 win over Huddersfield, Salah only contributed one goal (reacting first to Shaqiri’s free kick, tapping the ball in during the 3-0 win over Southampton).
Since the mini slump, Salah has been back to his best. In his last five matches for Liverpool, Mo has 5 goals and 2 assists, including the stunning hat trick against Bournemouth, bringing his totals for the season to 14 goals and 5 assists in all competitions.
While Mo had a similar slow start to the season last year, manager Jurgen Klopp thinks lingering pain over Sergio Ramos’s MMA challenge in the Champions League final played a part.
“At the start of the season, part of Mo’s body was not perfect,” Kloppo explained. “If you work in an office, if your shoulder is not 100 per cent and it is not your writing hand, then you’re okay.
“But if you’re a footballer, you have to wait until it’s 100 per cent.
“But we knew he was still a world-class player but we had to wait a little bit. It’s all good.”
It is all good, especially that Liverpool could get through a difficult start to the season with a half-fit Mo. And if this means the Egyptian winger is fully fit now, the league better watch out.
We saw just how far we could go with a fit and firing Mo against Europe’s best last year. This year? I guess we’ll have to wait and see (and hope Premier League defenders aren’t studying how to dislocate shoulders).