When Mohamed Salah joined Liverpool from AS Roma in 2017, he was merely a Premier League failure whose return to the league did not attract much attention, aside for his staggering price tag. Salah’s first two seasons saw him become a double golden boot winner and a player of the season. His third season he did not start well, thereby sparking a debate about his potential departure from Liverpool. The Anfield side is allegedly pursuing Mbappe, and that has led to speculations about Salah being offloaded to either pave the way for Mbappe or to enhance Liverpool’s financial capacity to sign the Frenchman.
Many fans have been made to believe that either Mane or Salah may leave Liverpool should the club opt to sign Mbappe the next transfer window or in the future. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the only clubs believed to have the attraction to lure either player out of Liverpool. While fans are adamant that Salah should leave, the majority think that signing Mbappe meant that one should leave the club, and if so, then it should be the Egyptian.
A look at both players, if at all statistics don’t lie, shows that Mohamed Salah is as important as Sadio Mane for Liverpool, and with superior statistics to back his usefulness. For instance, in Salah’s debut season 2017/2018, he managed 32 Premier League goals and 10 assists in 36 appearances for Liverpool. On the other hand, Mane managed 10 goals and 7 assists in 29 appearances. In the 2018/2019 season, a season where Liverpool lost the league title to Manchester City with a point, Salah and Mane scored 22 goals apiece. However, Salah managed to provide 8 assists against Mane’s single assist. 2019/2020 is not done, and Salah is already having 16 league goals and 6 assists in 26 appearances. Mane, on the other hand, has managed 14 goals and 7 assists in 26 appearances.
The statistics above demonstrate that the Egyptian has a cumulative better record as a goal scorer and provider than the Senegalese. So why is Salah underappreciated despite the impressive statistics? Salah is a victim of his own success in the first season, when his lightning speed, thunderous strikes, and moments of individual brilliance sealed his fate as a thaumaturge. Therefore, fans have been expecting Salah to achieve the same feat as he did in the first season.
What evades many fans’ attention is the change of role after the first season. In the first season, Salah occasionally played as a center forward, where he scored plenty of goals. His quick magical feet was a great asset, which caused problems to the opposition defence. In the subsequent years, Salah has been confined to the right flank, where he has often been tightly marked by opposition players and denied the opportunity to make significant run-ins. However, he has always found a way to put the ball at the back of the net.
What is indisputable since Salah’s arrival is how they complement each other with Mane. Their partnership up front has led to an overflow of goals. For the last three years, Liverpool has managed 239 goals in the premier league. Out of the goals, Salah has scored 70, which is approximately 30% of the total goals scored. It’s hard to imagine how many goals Liverpool would have scored without Salah. ‘The Pharaoh’ is not only a team player but also pops up with game-changing moments. If it turns out to be true, Mbappe will be a good addition for Liverpool. The French star scored 64 goals in Ligue 1 since the 2017/2018 season in fewer appearances than Salah. Considering the inferior quality of Ligue 1, Mbappe in the Liverpool squad may not be the same. However, his quality as a player is something to make Liverpool fans hopeful, and when his speculation finally turns true, then it shall be seen how he comes out in a Liverpool shirt.
From the stats, Liverpool should do everything possible to retain Salah and Mane, then add Mbappe if at all the club is determined to hire his services. That will give Liverpool a scary frontline with impeccable acumen that can cement Liverpool’s dominance for the next five years.