After a fractious encounter with Jürgen Klopp last Saturday, is it right that so many Liverpool fans are writing off Mo Salah?


THE numbers never lie with Mohamed Salah.

They never tell fibs, unlike the eyes. Sometimes the eyes lie. They pull with sadness and frustration.

The eyes tell you all is not right in the world of Liverpool’s number 11. West Ham was a misnomer of sorts.

That Salah was upset at not playing should be of surprise to nobody. That Jürgen Klopp would worry more if Salah wasn’t moody in this situation tells its own story.

But we’re attaching the endgame, again. Suddenly, what once could’ve been construed as passion and caring is manifested into infighting. Symptomatic of a wider lawlessness around discipline since the manager announced he was packing it in. And then, a jump to the inevitable clamour to get shot.

Bad egg, bad apple, choose your food source. It’s all bad, suddenly he’s all bad.

Salah isn’t scoring, what else is he doing? Bad.

The only solution is money, tons of it. Naive Saudi millions which we decide the amount of. That’s how it’s going to work.

What I love most about these Salah conversations is nobody seems to have any agreed, rational idea of what current transfer value is at any point.

Transfermarkt has him currently at €65m, for context. There was a time when he was simply priceless. When it wasn’t worth discussing numbers of currency because none of it was worth replacing him for.

Ask around now and people will bark ‘£150m’, ‘£70m’ like they’re at a Bargain Hunt auction.

Then there are those who ‘will happily drive him’ to the Middle East because all that matters to them is the last game. Hopefully they at least get him to weigh in on fuel.

We’ve seemingly decided we won’t miss him in some quarters. But then the numbers don’t lie.

And there isn’t a team on this planet who wouldn’t miss the numbers. Salah has 24 goals and 13 assists in 41 games this season.

This is one goal more and the same number of assists he posted in Liverpool’s title-winning 2019-20 season. The output remains phenomenal, as does the ability to constantly get on the pitch.

The hamstring issue obtained at AFCON earlier this year is the only injury absence of note next to his name since the 2018 Champions League final. His game has morphed, bent and broken into becoming able to find new ways of assisting goals this season.

He found Andy Robertson at Wolves with a slide-rule pass and repeated the trick on a couple of other occasions. A master who remains able to remaster his trade.

Whether you think he does enough in games or dislike his penalty technique. Or whether you think he was out of order in The London Stadium, you simply cannot argue with the numbers.

Klopp said today, in a press conference ablaze with his other musings, that he and Salah have too much respect for last week to be a problem.

What wasn’t said on account of him taking aim at TNT, FIFA and Simon Hooper was that Salah’s intentions are fundamentally good. That he still ultimately wants to fight the Liverpool fight and hates, hurts when the team underperforms.

That was the case when he put his head above the parapet when Liverpool failed to defend their title or qualify for the Champions League. Words are cheap, his are expensive on account he doesn’t say a lot of them.

When he does, it’s usually to call out when something hasn’t been good enough.

He is expensive.

Liverpool’s reported highest earner means the highest standards will be demanded. The rhetoric this week has been briefings of a new deal in the works.

There remains the question of a new manager, and another year on the clock of the once immortal Egyptian. Another year of Salah doesn’t guarantee anything for Arne Slot.

And yet seemingly it does.

The numbers don’t lie, friends. Mohamed Salah remains part of the solution, not the problem.


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