Vintage Salah: The Renaissance of Mo Salah as Liverpool’s Goal Machine

2023-10-26 08:59:00

MSN and BBC. Anyone who thinks of media companies here has never loved football.

After all, the abbreviations mentioned are not messenger apps and television channels, but rather two of the best offensive trios of the past 20 years of football history: Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar Jr. at FC Barcelona (MSN), as well as Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid (BBC). What glorious times!

However, both triumvirate have long since become a thing of the past. Barça’s MSN was blown up in 2018 by the then record departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain (222 million euros), and a year later the “C” left Real’s BBC for Juventus Turin.

From then on, the most spectacular offensive trio in Europe played in Liverpool – and unbranded, i.e. without any fancy abbreviations. We’re talking about Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah.

Vintage Salah holds up the red flag

Of course, Jürgen Klopp’s legendary line of three has long been a relic of days gone by. After a completely messed up year at FC Bayern, Mané now plays with CR7 at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia and Firmino (Al-Ahli) also succumbed to the lure of money from the desert state in the autumn of his career.

Only Mo Salah is still holding up the red flag on Merseyside – and he hasn’t been doing so for a long time. The Egyptian recently scored twice both against Brighton & Hove Albion (2:2) and in the derby against Everton FC (2:0). In the Premier League he has seven goals and four assists after nine games.

Mohamed Salah shoots Liverpool to victory

Fotocredit: SID

That’s currently enough for second place in the top scorers’ list behind Erling Haaland from Manchester City (9 goals), but Salah leads the scorers’ rankings by one point ahead of the Norwegian. Only in the unfortunate and so far only defeat of the season at Tottenham Hotspur (1:2) did the superstar not have a direct contribution to the goal.

Vintage Salah, you might think. After all, the now 31-year-old is well on his way to repeating – or even surpassing – his heroic deeds from days gone by.

Mo Salah: More than just a goalscorer

“He’s breaking one record after another. We have a very special player in our ranks,” enthused assistant coach Pep Lijnders at a recent press conference. Salah is much more than just a goal scorer on duty, he is “a mentor, a leader”. Salah is a player “who can create a lot out of nothing and does it again and again,” described Lijnders, who sees the Egyptian as an absolute model professional off the pitch.

Klopp’s team is currently in fourth place in the Premier League, only two points separate the 2020 champions from league leaders Tottenham Hotspur and only one point away from arch-rivals Manchester City (2nd) and Arsenal FC, which resurfaced last year ( 3.).

Jürgen Klopp is currently highly praised

Fotocredit: Getty Images

Much more important than the place in the table after just under a quarter of the season: Liverpool is playing exciting again, providing a spectacle and dominating. This is also urgently needed in order to smooth things over in our own camp after the disappointing last season in which they missed qualification for the Champions League. The fact that the great Liverpool FC have to compete in the “Losers’ Cup” instead of the premier class this season, as the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) was once called by Franz Beckenbauer, has nothing to do with the demands at Anfield.

And there is currently no one better suited to brighten the mood than Salah.

Mo Salah is still gaining ground

“The most important thing is that I concentrate on winning trophies and giving the team everything I can,” he said in the summer of 2022, before signing a new working paper valid until 2025.

Words that he is following up with actions these days. Salah may be six years older than when he arrived, but he is by no means showing his age. He is still an absolute goal machine who has even recognized potential for improvement in certain areas.

Since the start of the 2021/22 season, Salah has scored 36 goals for his colleagues – four of them in the current season. In his first four years in Liverpool he had “only” 46 assists across all competitions. “We never criticized him for being too selfish, because he was never too selfish,” Klopp once contradicted the accusation that Salah often ignored his better-positioned teammate in front of the goal. The increasing assist rate in recent years clearly contradicts this assumption.

Mo Salah celebrates with his Liverpool FC teammates

Fotocredit: Getty Images

After a year of bankruptcy and various changes in the squad, Liverpool has caught up, and no one is talking about Firmino and Mané anymore. Salah, on the other hand, is on everyone’s lips.

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