In the four and a half years since Mohamed Salah arrived at Anfield, he has produced a level of consistency that is scarcely believable, breaking records at every turn and finding another gear when it would seem there is none.
A player unwittingly cast aside by Chelsea before returning to England with aplomb, he will go down as one of the best the Premier League has ever seen; a maverick and a genius, the scorer of headers and penalties, tap ins and screamers, the man who makes the impossible seem innately possible with every passing week.
To achieve what he did in his first season at Anfield was impressive but to do so again proved he was different. He’s scored 20+ goals in four consecutive seasons for Liverpool and is on track to break that again this term. There’s a reason the words ‘only Mo Salah’ appear before most stats these days.
Even last season when those around him dipped in form, he stood apart. Salah remained at his very best, scoring 31 goals and earning Liverpool’s Player of the Year award. Fast forward to this term and the Egyptian has already found another gear. He commits defenders at will and creates pockets of space from thin air, is both decisive and measured in all the right moments, and lethal when it matters most.
There is a long-standing notion that he is ‘selfish’ but show me a world-class goalscorer that isn’t. Does he sometimes opt to shoot instead of pass? Perhaps. But he is a player who can win a game of his own accord – and that is definitely not a bad thing.
He is now on 147 Liverpool goals in just 227 appearances, 10th in Liverpool’s all-time goal scorers list with ninth-placed Harry Chambers firmly in his sights and he only needs 51 goals in his next 158 games to have a better record than Robbie Fowler.
His numbers are unprecedented. His genius unmatched. His influence ubiquitous. The fifth-fastest player to reach 100 Premier League goals, behind only Alan Shearer, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry, and the quickest to do so in Liverpool’s entire history. In a world where ‘normal’ still feels far away, the 29-year-old’s ability to continuously score goals and break records in red offers some solace.
But there is far more to his game than just that. Not only is he the league’s top scorer, but he is a creative force in his own right, registering the most assists so far this season (9) too. What’s more, he is as committed to the cause as anyone and humble enough to track back and support his defence when needed. All three elements are what makes him the player he is today.
Though this level of performance is now commonplace, the magnitude of what he is doing shouldn’t be taken for granted. Every time you think Salah couldn’t get any better, he finds another gear. He’s undoubtedly the best player in the world right now and has been for some time.
A special footballer whom we are lucky to witness, Mohamed Salah’s sustained brilliance puts him amongst the very best in Premier League history. It is odd that, despite all the records and goals he scores, he remains underappreciated and undervalued in some quarters.
Make no mistake, what Salah has achieved at Liverpool is phenomenal. This is a man writing his own chapter in the club’s esteemed history and there remain yet more chapters to write.
One-season wonder? Try five.
Mo Salah is unequivocally one of the Premier League’s greatest ever forwards. Marvel at him and appreciate him because players like him don’t come around often.