Mohamed Salah: is Liverpool’s ‘genius’ now the best player in Europe?
Pundits praise the ‘Egyptian king’ after his wonder goal against Man City
Since signing for Liverpool in June 2017 Mohamed Salah has scored some “sensational” goals, said GiveMeSport’s Rob Swan. But his stunning solo effort in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City “will be remembered for many years to come”.
In the 76th minute of Sunday’s clash at Anfield, the 29-year-old danced his way through the City defence before smashing the ball past keeper Ederson. The goal “cemented his status as one of the world’s finest footballers” and it could quite possibly go down as one of the Premier League’s all-time great goals, Swan added.
During the encounter between the title rivals Salah showed his class to set up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s opener on 59 minutes. His wonder goal, either side of City equalisers by Phil Foden and Kevin de Bruyne, was “worthy of winning any match”, said the BBC’s Phil McNulty. But in reality Liverpool “could not complain at only getting a point as they struggled to exert their authority”.
After the thrilling draw Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp gave his verdict on Salah’s individual brilliance. “Only the best players in the world score goals like this,” the German said. “The first touch, the first challenge he wins, then going there, putting it on the right foot and then finishing the situation off like he did, absolutely exceptional. Because this club never forgets anything, people will talk about this goal for a long, long time and in 50 or 60 years when they remember this game.”
Nicknamed the “Egyptian king” by the Kop, Salah has netted nine goals in nine games so far this season and is currently on a scoring run of seven consecutive matches. A Premier League and Champions League winner with Liverpool, his record for the Reds now reads: 134 goals and 50 assists in 212 appearances. The masterclass against City “showed once again that he truly belongs among the game’s elite”, McNulty said.
Salah was “already the most decisive player in the Premier League”, said the Independent’s Miguel Delaney. Now he is currently the “most devastating again, just wreaking havoc in the way he did in 2017-18 when he won the Player of the Year award”.
This gives rise to even bigger debates, Delaney added: whether Salah is actually the best player in Europe; whether he’s the best player in Liverpool’s history. “They end up coming down to subjectives, but the fact someone even has a claim is impressive enough.”
‘Imperative that Salah stays’
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher believes Salah has already secured his status as a Liverpool legend and is worthy of a place in the club’s all-time XI. Salah’s contract runs out in 2023 and the former Liverpool defender feels it’s “imperative” the future is sorted.
“I don’t think there’s anyone playing better in the world or in Europe at the moment,” Carragher said on Sky Sports. “I know the situation Liverpool are in. They don’t have the finances of Manchester City when you think of the wages they give out. But right now, Salah is playing as well as anyone in European football.
“Liverpool cannot afford to let his contract situation drag on, with the threat they could lose him in the next two years. It’s imperative that at his peak he’s still scoring goals in the red shirt of Liverpool.”
Salah has done enough to warrant being paid the biggest contract in Liverpool’s history, said Dominic King in the Daily Mail. “The onus is now on the men who balance the books to make it happen. Allowing someone else to profit from his genius would be sabotage.”