Since arriving on Merseyside from AS Roma in the summer of 2017, Mohamed Salah has been a revelation. Whether its scoring goals or setting them up, the Egyptian has delivered numbers from wide areas that the Premier League hasn’t seen since Cristiano Ronaldo during his Manchester United days. However, rather oddly, this has led to some overlooking Salah’s more recent achievements. So, let’s consider whether Salah has become a victim of his own success.
Setting a High Standard and Being Overlooked
In his first season working under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, the now 28-year-old broke the record for the most Premier League goals scored in a 38-game season. Incredibly, the Egyptian scored 32 top-flight goals in 36 matches. In doing so, the former Chelsea winger broke the previous tally of 31 goals set by Alan Shearer, Luis Suarez, and Ronaldo, according to talkSPORT.
His phenomenal opening season with Liverpool saw the Egyptian claim the FIFA Puskas Award, as well as the FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Players’ Player of the Year accolades. His return in front of goal also saw him collect the golden boot that year. Salah would later reclaim the award at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Yet, come the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, the Egyptian wasn’t a nominee for any of the league’s individual accolades. Although other competitors had tremendous seasons, particularly the eventual winner of the PFA Player of the Year award, Kevin de Bruyne, Salah was overlooked despite having a 29 goal-involvement total. In comparison, Salah was only involved in three fewer goals during the 2019-20 campaign than the Belgian midfielder. While few can argue that De Bruyne didn’t deserve the recognition, to think that the record-breaking winger wasn’t even one of the nominees with an impressive statistical return showcases how high he has set the bar for himself.
The Rise of Sadio Mane
Furthermore, perhaps some of the underappreciation of Salah’s contributions can be attributed to Mane’s emergence as a world-class winger. Unlike the Egyptian, Mane was a nominee for the Player of the Year award despite being involved in 25 goals. However, the stats don’t tell the full story when looking at what both players bring to the Premier League champions.
Back in 2019, Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher, stated that Mane was more important to Klopp’s team than Salah. The former Reds defender believes that the Senegalese winger was the catalyst in Liverpool’s contemporary resurgence, while Salah applied the much-needed ruthlessness.
Thankfully for supporters of the six-time champions of Europe, it doesn’t look like either Mane or Salah will be going anywhere in the near future. In turn, the two goalscoring wingers could prove to be the difference in Liverpool claiming back-to-back Premier League titles. At the time of writing, the Reds are 7/4 at football betting on Space Casino to win the league in the 2020-21 season, as of August 25th. For that to happen, Klopp will need his wide players to replicate their impressive from the last few seasons.
Setting the Tone and Leading from the Front
In this trophy-winning side, Salah very much sets the tone for what Klopp wants to achieve. Fundamentally, the Egyptian has a winning mentality that is essential when competing for major honours. While his contributions may be going under the radar among the media and rival supporters, Liverpool fans will never underestimate the 28-year-old's role in their recent success.