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Mohamed Salah: Liverpool star’s 2017/18 season is criminally underrated

Mohamed Salah has been a revelation for Liverpool. Without doubt one of their best signings of the Premier League era. The Egyptian international left Chelsea permanently in 2016 after struggling to make an impact in London. After proving himself in Serie A with Roma, he returned to England with the Reds for €42 million. A club record fee that raised eyebrows at the time, yet in hindsight, it’s turned out to be a bargain.

72 goals and 25 assists in just 113 Premier League games speaks for itself. Salah’s impact on this Liverpool side cannot be underestimated. He has been at the heart of their success both domestically and in Europe, providing the fire power up front with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. The former Basel winger’s returns often go under the radar because of the attention given to the likes of Van Dijk, Alisson and even Jordan Henderson for their impacts on the side. Hence why I believe he’s underrated.

Mohamed Salah with the Champions League trophy for Liverpool

In particular, Salah’s first season back in English top-flight football. To comeback to the toughest league on the continent and set it ablaze like he did was completely unprecedented. The rate at which he was scoring and assisting was on the level of Messi and Ronaldo.

Mohamed Salah – Goal machine

The 27 year old hit the ground running, with a goal on his debut against Watford. The side he would later go on to score 4 goals against in the reverse fixture at Anfield. Game after game, it seemed like Salah couldn’t stop scoring. His movement and intelligence coupled with the blistering pace to get into so many goal scoring positions made him a nightmare for every side.

Not to mention, his elegant dribbling to skip past defenders like they weren’t even there. Everyone knew Salah was left footed, but couldn’t do anything to stop it. Almost Messi-esque the way he cut onto his left with the low centre of gravity and subtle feints. Simple but so effective.

When you’re taking 4 shots per game as an attacker of the Egyptian international’s calibre, you’re bound to score at least one. Yet no-one could’ve predicted that he would break the all time record in 2017/18. 32 goals in 36 Premier League games is astonishing. He beat the likes of Shearer, Ronaldo, Suarez and Henry in his DEBUT season. Truly out of this world. Special mention for Harry Kane who went toe to toe with Salah the whole season and ended up with 31 goals himself in 2017/18. Any other year, he would’ve won his third Golden Boot in a row.

And everything else…

What’s even more baffling is the Al Mokawloon youth product missed a ridiculous 23 big chances in the league. If he had even converted half of these, it makes you wonder whether he could’ve won the Ballon d’Or. Mohamed Salah is often criticised for being selfish and, as shown by this data, wasteful. But perhaps it’s more of a testament to his positional sense and movement that he is able to get so many chances.

This is all without mentioning the former Chelsea winger’s Champions League season. 10 goals in 13 European games is an incredible return. Had he not got injured in the final, Liverpool may have ended up winning against Madrid. Furthermore, this was all while helping his national team qualify for their first World Cup since 1990. He well and truly had the Midas Touch in 2017/18.

Mohamed Salah with the Egypt national team

I’m still not done. Alongside being a prolific goal scorer, Salah was still an effective playmaker. With 10 assists in the Premier League, 14 in all competitions, the Egyptian was showcasing his creativity too. Averaging 1.7 key passes per game in the Premier League, he was contributing even when he wasn’t scoring. Selfish at times (like a goal scorer should be), but also selfless. It made his vote as the PFA Player of the Year a no brainer with 42 goal contributions in just 36 games. Monstrous figures.

Victim of his own success?

With an astronomical 44 goals in 52 games in all competitions, Mohamed Salah was on a different planet in 2017/18. He set the bar so high in his first season at Anfield that anything below it was viewed as disappointing. 47 goals in 92 games in his last two seasons is hardly failure. A victim of his own success essentially.

“Everyone is expecting something in each game I’m playing. I don’t have to score in every game, but I want to do my best. I want to give everything for the club, for my teammates, and myself also.”

Salah on his goals

From tap-ins, to stunning solo goals, to one-on-ones, to curling strikes from long range, the former Roma attacker couldn’t stop scoring. Definitely up there as one of the greatest individual seasons in Premier League history. Only Suarez 2013/14, Ronaldo 2007/08 and Henry 2002/03 can match it in my opinion.

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