It seems like yesterday when Egyptians across the country were huddled around their TV’s to watch Basel’s Mohamed Salah score on three different occasions against the mighty Chelsea.
But four years is a long time in football, and Salah proved just that.
It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in football or not- if you’re Egyptian, then you’ve heard the news. A couple of weeks ago Mo Salah finally put pen to paper on his move to Liverpool, which, no matter how you look at it, is a quite incredible rise for someone who learned their trade at El Mokawloon.
Of course, this isn’t Salah’s first big move- Chelsea decided to sign their tormentor in 2014, although it didn’t quite work out for him in the Premier League. Competing against the likes of Hazard and Willian, the Egyptian’s opportunities were few far between, which resulted in a loan move to Fiorentina; a move which proved the end of his short spell at Chelsea and perhaps the most important of his career.
Six months in Florence turned into a renaissance period for Salah, who took to Serie A like a duck to water and became an established first-teamer, scoring nine goals in all competitions. This attracted the attention of the likes of Roma, who moved quickly.
Rome’s new golden boy had arrived.
Ask anyone what Salah is about, and they’ll say one thing: Pace. While that is undeniably one of his biggest assets, the winger’s game has developed immeasurably during his time in Italy. Despite his obvious affinity for wide spaces, has shown an increasing capability for intricate one-touch play. In fact, since going to Italy, no player has created more chances from inside the box in the country- a stat further reinforced by Salah’s devastating partnership with Edin Dzeko in the 16/17 season. Indeed, Salah’s immense performances have culminated in a comeback to the Premier League, this time as Liverpool’s record signing.
Now, despite being just 25, Salah is no stranger to a big move. It’s been three years since his seemingly dreamlike move to Chelsea, but Egyptians have never been as excited as they are now- and that is for good reason. This time, the winger looks primed to take the Premier League by storm, and we’ll take a look at why.
Liverpool aren’t a club lacking firepower. And, to tell the truth, Salah is unlikely to be the ultimate solution to all their issues. However, the prospect of Mane (whom Salah overtook as Africa’s most expensive export) on the left and Salah on the right is enough to strike fear into Premier League defenders’ hearts. Whilst Firmino is a very different player to Dzeko, his tendency to drop deep and create for those around him could prove to be a perfect foil for Salah, and his goalscoring could even be amplified as a result. It’s not a sure thing by any means, but it’s hard not to see Salah thrive in Klopp’s high-pressure, free-flowing system.
Here’s the thing; this Mohamed Salah is a very very different player to the one who hastily joined Chelsea three years ago. And that’s exactly why we’re so excited.
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