Following protracted negotiations with Roma, Liverpool have today completed their long-awaited first major deal of the summer transfer window, signing 25-year-old Roma and Egypt star winger Mohammed Salah to a five-year deal and adding some much needed pace and goals to Jürgen Klopp’s side.
The reported base fee of £34.8M (€39.5M) means that Salah does not become Liverpool most expensive-ever signing today, though with add-ons it is believed the fee could end up closer to £39M eventually. Regardless of exactly what Salah ends up costing the club, it appears a bargain for his goal return in the current market.
Last season, Salah scored 15 goals and added 13 assists in 31 Serie A appearances for Roma, good for a goal involvement every 89 minutes. His 19 goals and 15 assists in 41 appearances across all competition meant a goal involvement every 94 minutes overall. Either number represents a world class return for any attacking player.
It also signals where Liverpool are headed next season, tactically, as the club now have two pacy wingers in Salah and Sadio Mané who could reasonably be expected to hit the 15 goal mark. With the left-footed Salah preferring the right and Mané spending much of his career on the left, it is likely they will play inverted.
With Roberto Firmino, an industrious and multi-talented but less than clinical false nine, Klopp’s first-choice striker, those two pacy, inverted wingers will be counted on to provide the primary scoring threat much of the time. For his return, then, and for how well he appears to fit Klopp’s plan, the fee is a bargain.
The club are now expected to move for another of the manager’s top targets, Naby Keïta, while their pursuit of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk remains hobbled but not entirely abandoned, and along with Salah that trio reflects Liverpool’s ambitions in the transfer market this summer.