Mohamed Salah has scored 50 Premier League goals. 48 have been for Liverpool. He’s quite good, you know.
Certainly, Jürgen Klopp seems to agree, praising his forward’s achievements since arriving at the club.
“It’s an exceptional achievement from a world-class player”, the Liverpool Echo report Klopp as saying.
“He made a few steps in the last couple of months in the right direction it’s a really outstanding number.
“I heard the names of the players who did it a bit quicker Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole... good strikers!
“Maybe Mo would have scored more had I not played him often on the right wing. So my fault!
“Not bad, though. He has helped us a lot and the boys know that.
“It’s a typical win-win situation. He benefits from the style of play of the other boys and they benefit from his scoring desire.”
It’s interesting that Klopp points out the different roles Salah has played. While the Egyptian has moved to striker now compared to his wider role last season, it at times has felt as though the emphasis has been even less on goalscoring. Salah is often, to great effect, dropping very deep to receive the ball, creating space for others to exploit.
Last season, in the inverted wide forward role, it was generally Roberto Firmino trying to occupy defenders and allow Salah the space to attack the box. This obviously worked very well, but there was an understandable concern about Liverpool’s attack becoming too predictable. The switch to the 4-2-3-1 ish shape was for a number of reasons, but moving Salah central was certainly a key one.
And oh how it has paid off! The goals have kept flowing while his all round game has become more important to the team’s build up play. The combination work has remained strong while giving a more solid foundation. Don’t put yourself down on Salah, Jürgen. Take all the credit you want.