Mohamed Salah: The Greatest Debut Season Ever at Anfield?

Mohamed Salah has been a heroic sensation, guiding beacon of hope and inspiration for Liverpool throughout the course of the 2017-2018 season.

The majestic Egyptian most recently another chapter to his ever-growing Anfield legend, courtesy of an influential performance against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the thrilling second leg of the UEFA Champions League, which sealed the reds spot in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Thereafter, Mohamed Salah’s game-changing exploits against Man City this week, the prolific Liverpool forward has now extended his goal tally to 39 this season. Salah has also registered 11 assists in 2017-2018 for Liverpool.

Rumors have circulated that La Liga Primera giants Real Madrid have expressed interest in signing Salah this summer in a blockbuster deal estimated to be £200 million. Neymar Jr became the first-ever £200 million player in history after departing FC Barcelona to join Paris St-Germain last summer. Real Madrid are reportedly looking to rebuild their exceptional attacking front-line this summer, particularly with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema both speculated to exit Real Madrid. Manchester United and Chelsea are both rumored suitors for Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.

Moreover, Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has achieved a majestic job at Anfield reaching the UEFA Championship League semi-finals. Given Liverpool’s well-documented relative shortcomings, which have been widely overshadowed and greatly outweighed by the incredibly sheer brilliance of the Reds very potent attacking frontline which features Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

However, ever since Liverpool’s high-profile sale of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for an estimated £105 million in January 2018, Salah has seemingly augmented his production expertly and taken greater accountability, leadership and determination to steer Liverpool to glory. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 campaign, ongoing talk of Coutinho’s departure from Liverpool resisted to cease and the Brazilian later signed for FC Barcelona during the European January transfer window in January 2018.

Liverpool’s last UEFA Champions League triumph came in an unforgettable night in Istanbul, Turkey in 2006 where the reds miraculously defeated AC Milan in the final via penalties thereafter the game ended 3-3 at the end of extra time.

Salah’s stunning debut season at Liverpool has often been compared to the mesmerizing debut season of Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez during their respective time on Merseyside. Fernando Torres impressively scored 33 goals in his debut season at Liverpool, whereas Suarez’s finest seasons at Anfield came in 2012-2013 (30 goals) and 2013-2014 (31 goals).

Luis Suárez – currently with Barcelona – joined Liverpool from Ajax in January 2011 for £22.8 million before unceremoniously departing Anfield after the infamous FIFA World Cup 2014 biting incident. Suarez was signed by Kenny Dalgish and formed the iconic SAS partnership with Daniel Sturridge.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has publicly compared Salah’s superb debut season at Liverpool to both Torres’ debut season at Liverpool as well as Suarez’s time at Anfield. Fernando Torres (currently at Atlético Madrid) and Luis Suarez played alongside Steven Gerrard at Liverpool.

However, Salah’s popularity at Liverpool has been unprecedented, notably given that the Egyptian received over one million write in votes for Egypt’s Presidential election, whilst also transcending the perception of Islamaphobia in the United Kingdom.

Salah – a devout Muslim – has a song which die-hard Liverpool fans sing called “I’ll Be Muslim Too.” Salah’s nickname is the “Egyptian King”.

Throughout the annals of history, Liverpool have witnessed a bevy of Anfield legends bestow their breathtaking magic and excellence before reds supporters: Ian Rush, Jamie Carragher, Alan Hansen, Kevin Keegan, Graeme Souness, John Barnes, Gerrard, Dalglish, as well as the beloved likes of Tommy Smith, Roger Hunt, Ian St. John, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Phil Thompson, Emlyn Hughes and Jimmy Case to name a few of the very many Liverpool legends who’ve rocked the Kop.

Unmistakably, Mo Salah is most certainly no one-season wonder and is undeniably the certifiable crown jewel of Liverpool’s pursuit and aspirations in claiming the UEFA Champions League this season.

Next season, permitting he does not join either Madrid or Barcelona, Liverpool could potentially be a firm favorite to seal their first league title since 1990. Salah, however, has ultimately solidified his sterling reputation and excellence in the hearts of Liverpool fans this season since joining from AS Roma last summer for £37 million. Salah will also lead the frontline for Egypt this summer at the FIFA World Cup 2018.

However, the question remains: Is Mohamed Salah experiencing the greatest-ever debut season in history for a Liverpool player?

 

 

Photo credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Dean Perretta

Dean Perretta is a 2x SEA Award-winning creative, Broadcast Journalist, Reporter, Courtside Analyst for BBC televised London Lions and Executive Producer who currently contributes to FOX Sports 96.9 FM/1340 AM, NBC News featured hit News2Share in Washington, D.C and VAVEL in New York.