The Incredible Acendecy of Mohammad Salah

Bryce Ros

There are many Liverpool F.C. Fans that have lived for well over 50 years who have seen some astonishing footballers and coaches contribute to the club. Names like Dalglish, Gerrard, Souness, Shankley, and Carragher have graced the field at Anfield. All of those names are legends in their own right. Over the past 3 years, Liverpool has seen a player come to prominence that dwarfs even the emergence of Jamie Vardy during the 2015 season. Mohammad Salah has taken over the English Premier League.

To many astute soccer fans, the name is a familiar one. Many FIFA video game enthusiasts played with Roma in FIFA 17’ because of the absurdly fast winger with an Egyptian last name. The time he spent with his other EPL Club Chelsea he was underused for some unknown reason. Hazard of course probably had something to do with that, as well as Pedro, Willian, and Cuadrado. Regardless it seems almost comical at this point that Salah was given very little time on the pitch. With Liverpool however, the man has flourished into one of the world’s best players. Salah is unquestionably in the discussion of top players in the world, as he has speed and control similar to that of Lionel Messi. Although the two possess different playing types they both are one thing, goal-scoring machines.

The unique thing about Salah has been his transformation. He began a very talented and athletic footballer at Liverpool but was more of a wing who could get the ball in the box, and occasionally score goals. This is how he was used at many of the other clubs he played. He has extreme speed, like very few players in the world yet also has phenomenal control of the football. Mohammad Salah has effectively turned himself into a forward. Since his speed is such a large asset he has matched it with the ability to hold the ball but also read offside much better. He has a magnificent left foot but is by no means weak with his right. A lesser-known fact about the Egyptian is that in his spell with Liverpool he has never received either a red or yellow card.

The question beckons: How did this talented footballer go from the highest goal total of 15 with Roma to scoring 63 in 2 ½ years? The answer is multi-pronged. The help of players like Sadio Mane being added to the squad has certainly had an effect. It can make it slightly easier when one of the players who can match Salah for speed plays just opposite him. Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold behind him has given him the freedom to worry much less about covering back. His true skill comes from his ability to learn how to score through either open space or blistering speed. Watching a player who one has followed for many years turn into something special is a sublime thing to see in sport. It reminds one slightly of watching Gareth Bale go from a left-back at Tottenham to dominant left-winder in just a few years.

Salah has brought something else too, a quiet leadership. He seems to be one of those special athletes that never gets rattled and can always keep their head in the moment. A trait that any athlete who has played at a high level will tell you is an extremely difficult skill to hone. His attitude is infectious and has been a huge part of the clubs success. He was given the idea to tweak his game slightly to be more effective by no one other than The Jolly German Jurgen Klopp. The impossible to hate Liverpool F.C. HC has gotten Salah to play more centrally, instead of staying far to the right. Yet another reason highering Klopp was the best coaching change that can be remembered in the English Premier Leauge in a lifetime. Why Manchester United didn’t hire Klopp after Fergie’s exit, we will never know. Truthfully, the only coach who can hold a candle to him is Manchester City’s, Pep Guardiola.

Seeing Salah’s progression to a world-class player has been one of the most enjoyable to watch in recent memory. His determination is something to behold. He fights through injuries to get healthy and is ever-present hustling on the field no matter what minute it may be. He is a team player who does not seem to have any selfishness in him. Very rarely do you see him not pass when another player has a better shot on goal. The Egyptian has taken the footballing world by the scruff of the neck and has handled himself with respect and humbleness. Although he has many phenomenal players on the field with him, there is no doubt that he has been an integral part of the team and the spectacular season Liverpool are having, and have had over his time at Anfield.