Comparing Mohamed Salah With Luis Suarez And Fernando Torres – Why The Egyptian Can Emulate The Anfield Legends
Liverpool FC are having a satisfactory so far. Sitting in 3rd place ahead of big boys Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, earning a round of 16 spot in the Champions League after having finished on top of their group ahead of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, a ticket to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup looking highly probable, they have had a season with lots to smile about.
Also to add, the Reds were on an 18-match unbeaten run just a couple of matches ago. Transfers have brought about some brawn to their ranks. Their most important and instrumental player has undoubtedly been, Mohamed Salah. One could run out of adjectives to describe his services for the Reds this season.
First things first, PL fans had seen little of the Egyptian on the English stage as he was not favoured by Jose Mourinho who didn’t provide him with well-deserved chances. After being loaned out to a couple of clubs before a permanent transfer to Roma, he joined Liverpool. Many of us knew that it was an exciting addition but little did anyone expect that he would flourish in the Premier League with a galore of goals, being right up there among the golden boot contenders.
The 25-year-old surpassed the 20-goal mark for the league season when he scored a brace against Tottenham in a thriller. He now has 21 goals in 25 appearances in the league. Overall, Salah has netted 28 times in 34 games this season. To sum it up, he has also created 8 goals in the PL. The right winger completes almost two key passes every game along with a pass completion rate of 77.4%.
He plays close to 27 passes per game on an average. Mo Salah has an exceptional knack for getting into goal scoring positions and being at the end of many chances, which is clearly shown in his 4.2 shots-per-game statistics. The talisman had hit the ground running in August and has risen to arguably become the hottest property in the country.
The Suarez Era At Anfield
Liverpool have had two world-class strikers over the past decade – Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres. Both of them had been absolute machines for the Merseyside club and much like Salah, they were the darlings of the Kop crowd.
Starting off with Luis Suarez, we are talking about one of the best strikers in the world at the moment. After having shone until the 2011-12 season, the Uruguayan started dismantling and rupturing PL defences for fun. He stamped his name on the world stage convincingly, when he scored 23 and created five more in the 2012-13 season, where he averaged almost 6 shots a game!
The season after, Liverpool were let down by their defence but won everyone’s hearts when they finished 2nd in the table, as they stumbled towards the end. Luis Suarez was absolutely unstoppable that season, exhilarating and deadly. The forward created 12 goals and scored 31 in 39 appearances, bagging 14 Man-of-the-match awards. This eventually caught the eye of Barcelona, where he has just gone from strength to strength.
Torres On The Red Side Of Merseyside
Fernando Torres is one of the most skilled players in the game and was a beast for the Reds. In 142 appearances, he got himself on the score sheet 81 times. In a course of three and a half years, he had a couple of 20+ goal seasons.
Before we compare these players, we must take into account the fact that Liverpool’s style of play has changed a lot since the arrival of Jürgen Klopp. Instead of playing target men such as Torres or Suarez, he rotates his front men in more of a combined style of play, where each of them looks for the other. The cleverness and unselfishness of Firmino help Mane and Salah get in behind the defence and get into key areas.
Mohamed Salah can surely beat Torres’ record due to his pace, ability to cut inside and his dynamic style of play. He is too energetic to handle at times. He just needs 5 goals to crash Torres’ best season at Merseyside.
The winger has all the potential in the world, but it would take sheer dominance and hard work to do what Suarez did at Anfield. As mentioned above, it’s not a joke to be involved in 40+ goals a season directly, as only the quality of players such as Messi and Ronaldo achieves that type of success every single term.
Salah is surely in line to do the same this season. If this consistency continues next season, we may even see the Egyptian right up there in the Ballon d’Or shortlist.
Hence, consistency is key. He can easily be better than the above two strikers if he plays to his potential. The biggest boost is that he is doing it from a wider role and not a central one, which is much tougher if one wants 30 goals a season.
No one can take away the Egyptian king from his throne at the moment and if this fairytale continues, maybe never.