At this stage of his Liverpool career, it might be tempting to wonder if Mo Salah has anything left to achieve.
Seemingly flirting with the idea of a move to Spain following an interview with Real Madrid mouthpiece AS in December, this summer appeared to be a natural time to call an end to his time at Anfield, having fired the club to a sixth Champions League title and a first Premier League crown. However, that was before we got an insight into the precarious financial situation both Madrid and great rivals Barcelona are balancing on.
With La Liga’s big two hell-bent on forming the European Super League, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and some mind-bogglingly poor signings looks to have hit the two hard. It’s hard to imagine either of them, or indeed Juventus, having the sort of money it would take to sign Salah this summer, leaving the Liverpool forward in a difficult position. Where does he go from here?
The short answer is nowhere. Perhaps, in an ideal world, the fallen English champions would have sold him this summer in order to put those funds back into the team after so many years together but those plans – if they were ever formed – lay in the same ruins the shaky European Super League foundations crumbled into. Either way, it doesn’t look as though the love story between Salah and Liverpool is set to finish just yet.
As gargantuan a club as Liverpool are, their best forwards in recent memory (prior to their recent glory period) have seeked moves away at their peak and ruined their legacies. Michael Owen, for example, was never truly accepted in the way predecessor Robbie Fowler was and his eventual move to Manchester United has tarnished his legacy on Merseyside.
Fernando Torres broke hearts when moving to Chelsea while Philippe Coutinho was conveniently injured in the build-up to his huge transfer to Barcelona in 2018 with a mystery back problem, His reception upon his return to Anfield in the dramatic Champions League semi-final just over a year later was an indication as to how swathes of the club’s support felt about that particular ploy. Luis Suarez was an icon but, following his own transfer to Barcelona, was roundly booed during th same game.
Now, Salah has the chance to truly go down as a legend at Liverpool, both in the hearts of supporters as well as the record books. Granted, he’s won more than any of the names mentioned above did for the club but, given the constant talk about his future over the last few seasons, there does appear to be a cold element to Salah’s connection with the fanbase.
That’s not to say they don’t respect him or support him, it has just rarely seemed like there’s been the kind of warmth between the two that was so evident in their first season together, when they took the Premier League by storm.
Politics and personal glory have just always looked to get in the way. Perhaps that is just modern football but some of Salah’s sulky displays have previously raised concerns about just how much he wants to remain a Liverpool player.
By spearheading a rebuild at Liverpool and looking to get the Klopp era back on track, Salah can cement his status as an all-time great and one whose legacy outlasts the names we’ve previously mentioned. This marriage of convenience doesn’t have to be an unhappy one. The love story is far from over.
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