Liverpool will travel to Bournemouth this weekend with memories of the 9-0 drubbing they handed out at Anfield fresh in their mind. It was the game that was meant to get Liverpool’s season up and running after a torrid start but instead they have stuttered their way through the campaign.
Hopes of being in a title race had faded by the end of August and now the Reds are in a real fight just to secure a top-four finish, something that seemed like an impossibility just two months ago. However, a recent upturn in form has not only given them an outside chance, but allowed them to look to the future.
The days of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah as a front three were memorable, but it seems as if, with that 7-0 win over Manchester United, Liverpool can finally plan ahead. With Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Salah all scoring braces, the new-look front three seems to have finally clicked for Jurgen Klopp.
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But the main man in both generations is the Egyptian King, Mo Salah. This season he has received criticism from the wider public (and FPL managers) for failing to hit the same goalscoring heights we are used to. But that criticism seems unwarranted when you look at the statistics and take into account the fact that his side have been severely underperforming.
Last season Salah, who was integral as Liverpool came within two games of winning the quadruple, scored 31 goals and got 16 assists in 51 matches in all competitions. That’s an incredible 47 goal contributions in 51 club games, as his side won the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup. He was widely regarded as one of the finest players on the planet and would likely have won the Ballon d’Or had Liverpool beaten Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
But this season he has been criticised for his lack of product. Yet he’s scored 22 goals and bagged 11 assists in 37 matches, giving him 33 goals contributions in 37. If he finishes the season strongly, he won’t be too far off the numbers he hit last season yet the perception of his individual ability has changed because the Reds aren’t winning every week.
Salah is still one of the finest forwards on the planet. Only Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka have more Premier League goal contributions than him this season and you wouldn’t back against the Egyptian overhauling the England duo before the season ends. He was sensational against Manchester United, and in the Champions League has been simply phenomenal.
He’s scored in every game on the continent aside from the opener against Napoli and boasts eight goals and two assists in seven European matches this season. Insane numbers, but he is unlikely to get another round of fixtures unless Liverpool pull off something miraculous at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Salah may be 30, and have thousands of rival fans wishing for his downfall, but he shows no sign of stopping just yet. Liverpool are only just getting going this season, and still they’ve relied on their main man to carry them through. Next season, when Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota return to fitness and after more integration for Nunez and Gakpo, we could see a Liverpool front three that can tear the league apart.
But there’ll be one constant still at the top of his game. Mo Salah and his goals aren't going anywhere.
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