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Milner Praises “Ruthless” Salah, the Premier League’s Top Striker

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been the best striker in England this season.

Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah now has 32 goals in 38 games, surpassing the the 31 in 37 Luis Suarez managed for Liverpool back in the 2013-14 season. It is, of course, only just the start of March. There are at least nine league games and three Champions League ties left for Salah to add to his numbers in.

Wherever he ends up at the end of it all, Salah’s 2017-18 will go down as one of the top seasons for a Liverpool striker in history by any measure or standard. Wherever he ends up at the end of it all, it will be a world class season and a world class return for the 25-year-old Egyptian superstar.

“I’ve been lucky to play with some great players before and he’s up there with the best I’ve played with,” was vice-captain James Milner’s take on Salah’s standout season so far when he spoke to reporters at the press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League round of 16 second leg against Porto.

“He’s played in England before but there’s a big difference to Italy. He’s a top player. He’s settled down quickly and been ruthless, which is a credit to the players around him but also the club. He’s got Bobby and Sadio up there and also the players behind him. He’s a big part of how we play.”

In his second spell in England, he’s also been paired with a manager seeking to best untilise his attacking talents rather than to shackle him to a rigid and defensive system. The results of it all have been stunning, and in league action he currently stands level with Harry Kane as top scorer.

While both have 24 league goals, Salah has played 195 fewer minutes than Kane so far—more than two complete games worth of minutes—and he also has eight league assists compared to Englishman’s two. Plus, per Understat, it’s Salah who has been the more clinical finisher.

Based on the cumulative xG of all Kane’s chances, the Spurs man would be expected to have 23.99 league goals at this point of the season. He has, of course, 24. Salah would be expected to have 19.96 goals based on the cumulative xG of all the chances he’s taken. He also has 24.

“Mo has had a great season so far and long may it continue,” Milner added. “Hopefully he can keep banging the goals in. We’re lucky to have a good dressing room.”

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