The Impact of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah
The impact of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah on the pitch is clear to see, but the Egyptian King seemingly has a huge impact off the pitch too.
Harvey Elliott’s Praise for Salah
20-year-old Harvey Elliott has recently heaped praise on the Liverpool legend, labelling him as ‘one of the best in the world’. Following Liverpool’s victory at Wolves, Elliott said: “Touch wood he doesn’t ever leave but, if he does go, then I want to be that person to learn from him and apply it in my game.” The 20-year-old also stated: “I will do my best but to be just learning from him and in the same team as him is a dream come true, as well as everyone else in the team.”
Elliott’s Rise in the Premier League
Elliott has become one of the most exciting young players in the Premier League over recent years. The youngster has already made 71 appearances for the Reds across all competitions, scoring six goals and assisting four. Could Elliott be the heir to Salah’s throne? Now obviously, it’s important to note that Mohamed Salah is one of Liverpool’s all-time greats so his boots are massively difficult to fill. However, in terms of profile there are numerous similarities between Salah and Elliott. The 20-year-old may not have the raw pace that Mohamed Salah has but he definitely has a core strength that is hugely important to the Egyptian’s style of play. Despite often being deployed as a central midfielder at Liverpool, Elliott definitely has the flair and finesse to play as an inverted winger on the right-hand side like Salah.
The Challenge from Ben Doak
Perhaps one stumbling block in Elliott’s path is 17-year-old Ben Doak, who has also shown immense potential as a future right-winger in Klopp’s system. Doak also fits the bill as a left-footed right-winger, with lots of pace and core strength which helps him evade defenders with ease. Similarly to Elliott, it’s just the end product of the youngster that would need considerable improvement to earn regular first-team minutes.
Crunching the Numbers: Creative Stats
Before we begin to compare the numbers of both players, it’s important to remember that one is still a 20-year-old that is learning his trade, whilst the other is a 31-year-old in his prime. We’re going to take a deeper look at some of the statistics that make Salah such an effective player and then evaluate whether Elliott has the potential in those departments.
- Key passes per 90: 1.58
- Assists per 90: 0.39
- Passes into penalty area: 2.00
- Progressive passes per 90: 3.84
- Pass completion %: 78.0%
- Key passes per 90: 1.38
- Assists per 90: 0.11
- Passes into penalty area per 90: 2.24
- Progressive passes per 90: 7.40
- Pass completion %: 90.0%
In terms of progression, Elliott is expected to have more promising statistics with a number of his games coming with him as a central midfielder. However, 7.40 progressive passes per 90 minutes are incredible numbers for such a young and reasonably inexperienced player. The main difference is notably the end product, as mentioned before. With Salah averaging 0.39 assists per 90 minutes, whilst Elliott averages just 0.11 assists per 90 minutes. However, there is definitely huge potential for Elliott to become a creative force for the Reds in the future.
Possessional Stats: Ball Control
We’re now going to look deeper into the possessional stats of both players with the ball at their feet.
- Touches in attacking third per 90: 35.89
- Touches in attacking penalty area per 90: 7.81
- Successful take-ons per 90: 1.26
- Carries per 90: 29.71
- Progressive carries per 90: 3.15
- Touches in attacking third per 90: 26.12
- Touches in attacking penalty area per 90: 3.04
- Successful take-ons per 90: 0.80
- Carries per 90: 40.12
- Progressive carries per 90: 3.21
Again, it needs to be considered that Elliott has often played in a different role and against a lower quality of opposition for a number of his appearances. However, there is definitely huge potential for Elliott to become a top player for Liverpool. Whether he ever meets the standard of Mohamed Salah will always seem unlikely, but you’ll struggle to find anyone in world football who is capable of filling that role. I certainly think Elliott is one of the more underrated players at Liverpool, who could become a special player over the next couple of years.