Why is Mo Salah’s greatness still doubted?

When a player’s stats are so good that the hashtag #OnlySalah trends because he is constantly out on his own in whatever the metric is, it’s hard to establish why his greatness is in doubt to so many.

Since joining Liverpool in the summer of 2017, Mo Salah has without a doubt become one of the best players in the world. He has scored 134 goals in 212 appearances for the Kop, including 101 in 152 games in the Premier League.

He has won the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup as well as reaching another Champions League final and being part of the Liverpool side that were by far the best ever runners-up in Premier League history.

The success of Liverpool’s team since that season has largely been attributed to the brilliance of Virgil Van Dijk, who arrived in January in a £75m deal from Southampton and seemingly turned their defensive fortunes around.

But it seems to have been far too easily forgotten in that half-season where it was just Salah and not Van Dijk that the Egyptian was still absolutely dazzling. By the time January 1st 2018 rolled around, Salah already had 23 goals in all competitions to go with six assists in 29 appearances.

He ended that season with a record breaking 32 Premier League goals in 36 games, and 44 goals with 16 assists in 52 appearances across all competitions.

Since then his numbers have never quite reached those levels since, ending each season with 27, 23 and 31 goals while he currently has nine in nine games this season.

But while the first season was all about goals, goals, goals, the improvement in his overall game has seen a development that is only usually attributed to the very best players in the world.

His first touch has improved immensely, his decision making is better, he is still a world class dribbler, he can finish with both feet, he presses hard from the front in line with Jurgen Klopp’s system and his link-up play has improved to the point where Roberto Firmino is no longer considered an automatic starter.

Salah can play in the middle or from the right, his pace is frightening, his movement is brilliant and just like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski he comes across as just inevitable for oppositions.

But despite all of this, some people still doubt him. I’ve seen him left out of lists of the top ten players in the world, even in the best players in the Premier League by some. But chuck your bias away, ignore that he isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing player in the world and focus on what he can do and does on a regular basis.

He affects the biggest games against the best opposition on a regular basis and he is one of the attacking players in the world who doesn’t need to score a goal to have a good game. He also doesn’t need to be playing well and have a good game to score a winning goal.

He’s special. He’s one of Liverpool’s best players ever now, and it’s about time everyone started putting some respect on Mo Salah’s name.


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