There were a number of stellar performances from Liverpool at the London Stadium on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp’s side dispatched West Ham 4-1, but none more so than a certain Egyptian forward.
Mohamed Salah delivered another two goals for The Reds, showing a composed, cool head in front of goal to cap off an impressive solo performance and take his tally to 12 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions since his summer switch from AS Roma – a record only bettered by Harry Kane.
Such a stunning return speaks for itself and represents a far cry from his previous stint in the Premier League with Chelsea. Struggling to establish himself in the first-team picture, the Egyptian scored just twice in 19 appearances over the course of two seasons. That saw him branded as a ‘Chelsea reject’ upon his return to England’s top flight, but like a certain striker acquired a few years prior, he’s turned out pretty damn well in Liverpool Red.
Right from the word go it was clear that Salah was far more of a footballer than some were giving him credit for and since scoring on his first outing against Wigan in pre-season, he’s never looked back.
To put things into perspective, Philippe Coutinho was the club’s top goalscorer last season with 14 – just two more than Salah has already managed before Christmas. That puts him second in the goal-scoring rankings when looking at the first 17 games for Liverpool.
To boast a higher record than three world-class strikers in Sturridge, Torres and Suarez, speaks volumes about the quality Salah has produced since moving to Merseyside.
His movement and trickery on the ball, coupled with some incisive movement off it, has proved a nightmare for opposition defenders. We’ve also seen some sumptuous combination play with Firmino and Mane that’s introduced another dynamic to the forward line.
“Of all transfers last summer, none has had more impact than Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. When I saw him score his first for the club at Watford, I felt this was a player who would score 15 this season. I underestimated – he’s on schedule to get 25.” – Jamie Carragher
Salah’s goals have come in all shapes and sizes, too. Take his goal on Saturday for example, where he combined neatly with Sadio Mane on the counter-attack before slotting the ball past Joe Hart. Then you’ve got his header against Leicester; his volley against Maribor; a low rifled shot for his second against West Ham and a goal with his weaker foot against Spurs. You name it, he’s scored it.
There is an argument to be made in terms of his finishing, having missed a number of chances to better his already impressive tally, but the Egyptian international still boasts a higher conversion rate of 19% than Harry Kane’s 16%. It’s hard to think of a Liverpool signing that’s made an impact of the same magnitude as the Egyptian.
He’s won every player of the month and goal of the month award, as well as two ‘Player of the Week’ awards in the Champions League and at the age of 25 he’s still got his best years ahead of him. Such a prospect of Mo turning up the gears even more in the coming seasons is an exhilarating one and if his start in anything to go by, the sky really is the limit.
Liverpool may not have a prolific No.9 like the rivals do – Aguero for Man City, Kane for Spurs and Lukaku for Manchester United – but Mo Salah could very well be their 30+ goals a season man. He’s fallen perfectly into place and Liverpool are already reaping the rewards for one of the signings of the summer.