Mo Salah is quietly scoring loads of Premier League goals
Not since 2005 had Liverpool gone four Premier League games without finding the back of the net. While the Reds’ defence had been decimated by injuries, it was their attack letting them down as they suffered defeats to Burnley and Southampton and dropped points to Manchester United and Newcastle United. Mo Salah featured in all four of those matches and was as culpable as anyone for Liverpool’s goal drought. Now, though, the Egyptian has four goals in his last three appearances, first bagging a brace in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United and then another in the Premier League away win over West Ham. So why is nobody talking about how many Premier League goals Mo Salah has scored this season?
While Liverpool’s attack has been questioned in recent times, with fans even showing a strange twist on football tribalism, Salah is enjoying a quietly exceptional campaign. The 28-year-old now has 15 goals and three assists in 20 Premier League appearances (18 of them starts) this term putting him top of the Premier League top scorers table and making a mockery of those who have suggested he is currently playing within himself.
“He’s a world-class player, there’s no doubt about that,” Jurgen Klopp explained after the weekend win over West Ham. “In the past couple of weeks when we didn’t score that many, the only thing you can do when you’re not scoring is to keep trying to make better decisions. Tonight, we didn’t force it. He scored top-class goals.”
Indeed he did. The second goal Mo Salah scored at the London Stadium a potential Premier League Goal of the Season contender. The way the Egyptian controlled Xherdan Shaqiri’s pass with his right foot and then finished with his left foot all in one fluid move, as if it was entirely natural to take a stride in this way, was remarkable and another illustration of his brilliance.
Questions have been asked of Salah’s mentality at times this season. Some have pondered whether the 28-year-old has one eye on his future, with speculation spiking following an interview with Spanish sports publication Marca in which he refused to play down links with both Barcelona and Real Madrid.
There have been points at which Salah’s finishing touch has seemingly deserted him. Sometimes he has tried too hard, taking too much on himself. His decision-making in the final third can sometimes verge on the selfish side, but the numbers still paint the picture of a highly productive forward. The 15 goals that Mo Salah has scored in the Premier League this season is still three more than anyone else.
It could be the case that most have simply grown numb to Salah’s excellence. This is a player who has scored 88 times in 128 league outings for Liverpool. Salah has tallied more direct goal involvements (119) than any other Premier League since his debut for the Reds. For context, Jamie Vardy is second on the list with 96 direct goal involvements, 23 behind Salah.
He is one of the best goalscorers the Premier League has ever seen and a true icon for the Anfield club. Few Liverpool players have reached the heights Salah has, which is saying something considering the players to have played for the club. It is, however, in the nature of fans and experts to look for any weakness in the very best, even if this is to an over-scrupulous extent.
This season, Mo Salah is well on course to better his tally of 19 Premier League goals from the previous campaign, when he was considered one of the best players in England as Liverpool strolled to the title. It’s true that Salah’s goals this season have come in fits and starts, but when the Premier League table is finalised at the end of the season, when every team has played 38 fixtures each and the honours are handed out, Salah goals will have made a difference. Maybe then his quietly brilliant campaign will be loudly hailed.
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