” I think Madrid and Barcelona are two top clubs. Who knows what can happen in the future.” A statement made which undoubtedly raised eyebrows prior to last weekend’s thumping victory at Crystal Palace, in an interview given to Spanish outlet Diario AS. Salah was then subsequently left on the substitutes bench, providing further questions regarding the Egyptian’s morale at the club.
However, the 28-year-old also stated ” of course, I want to break records here and I repeat, every record in the club, but everything’s in the club’s hands”, providing some reassurance to supporters. It would be fair to suggest that following a remarkable first three years at Anfield, which has continued into the fourth, Salah is undeniably primed to pursue his target and write his name into Liverpool folklore.Embed from Getty Images
When the forward joined the Reds for a fee of around £35m in 2017, there was no doubting the quality of Liverpool’s new recruit, although uncertainty surfaced around his ability to perform in the Premier League, where a young Salah experienced an unsuccessful spell at Chelsea. Any lingering doubts were quickly silenced however, with the Egyptian netting on a remarkable 44 occasions in his maiden campaign, playing a pivotal role in guiding the club to a Champions League final in Kiev. Shattering countless records in the process, the forward set a precedent which not even the most optimistic of fans could have foreseen.
Ever since, although these astonishing individual heights have fallen slightly in terms of output, the consistency of performance and numbers have remained at an exceptional standard. The Egyptian has contributed to 95 Liverpool goals in just 121 outings, proving time and again the world-class qualities he possesses, helping the Reds achieve a sixth European Cup and maiden Premier League title in the process.Embed from Getty Images
With the current heights of the club, including a world class playing squad consistently winning major honours, along with Liverpool’s ever-present stature, a move to either of the currently lacklustre Spanish giants would seem a questionable career move. With Jurgen Klopp at the helm until at least 2024, the long-term future looks increasingly bright with a continued challenge for the major trophies seeming likely, to match the ambitions of a player of Salah’s calibre. The record-breaking targets with a long-term stay at L4, are also indisputably obtainable. Although it would take miracles to surpass club icon Ian Rush in regard to the all-time top scorer charts, the forward is just 43 away from surpassing Robbie Fowler and topping the club’s Premier League catalogue. On the European stage, the Egyptian recently eclipsed Steven Gerrard as all-time top scorer in the Champions League, in just three full campaigns on Merseyside.
The 28-year-old must also consider some of the most recent high-profile departures away from Anfield, in particular that of his former colleague, Phil Coutinho. Playing at the top of his game at the time of the move to Spain, the Brazilian has never found his mojo back since. The playmaker has struggled to make a major impact, failing to stamp his authority in the forward line of the Catalan giants, highlighted by a recent loan move to FC Bayern. Other major departures from England to La Liga in recent times include Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard, with both also enduring underwhelming spells on an individual note, particularly the latter so far. Considering the current predicament of both Liverpool and the Spanish giants, it is a clearer message than ever before, the grass is not always greener.Embed from Getty Images
From the club’s viewpoint, although Salah is arguably the Reds’ most prized asset with a probable value well in excess of £100m, tying the 28-year-old down to a new long-term deal is essential. With two and a half years remaining at present, which is similar for several other star players in the squad, interest will inevitably increase among Europe’s elite. It is therefore critical that a sale is categorically disregarded, to demonstrate the owners’ ambition and send a message to the rest of Europe- that Liverpool Football Club are remaining firmly on their perch.