The Rise Of Mohamed Salah

During his time with Liverpool Football Club, Mohamed Salah has won a bevy of trophies and broken plenty of records to boot. He has won a premier league title, champions league trophy, FA cup, Super Cup and earnt himself three Premier League golden boot awards, player of the season and many more that would take way too long to name. Although Liverpool are not among the sports betting favourites for the Premier League title this year, Salah’s efforts will still be vital to any success. It is perhaps hard to believe then that despite becoming an icon for one of the biggest clubs in world football he was once labelled as a flop.

Salah began his club career in his native Egypt with Al Mokawloon. After breaking into the first team in 2010 he would quickly establish himself as a regular, eventually appearing on the radar of Swiss Super League side Basel. He would move to the Swiss champions in 2012 at 20 years old, settling in quickly and impressing in his appearances in the Champions League.

The Egyptian winger bagged himself five goals in 10 Champions League appearances in his second season with Basel which would again leave European scouts impressed. In the 2014 January transfer window both Liverpool and Chelsea were rumored to be vying for his signature, but it was The Blues who would seal the deal for a fee of £11 million. It seemed to be the climax of a fairytale for Salah. Coming from a small village in Egypt, plying his trade there before getting his first break in Europe and finally gaining a move to one of the biggest clubs in the world. However, life in South London was anything but smooth for the former African footballer of the year.

After a quiet first season at the club, Salah had hopes of becoming a first team regular in his second. But then manager Jose Mourinho had other ideas. He made just three league appearances for Chelsea with a further five in cup competitions that season. His lowest point came in October 2014 when he and fellow winger André Schürrle were criticized publicly by Mourinho for what he considered to be a poor performance. Speaking of his time coaching Salah, Mourinho said “He was just a lost kid in London. He was a lost kid in a new world. We wanted to work him, to become better and better and better. But he was more of the idea of wanting to play and not wait.

He was labelled a flop by the fans and media alike before being carted off on-loan to Italian Serie A outfit Fiorentina on the winter transfer deadline day in an 18-month deal. Whilst he impressed during his time there scoring six goals in 16 outings, he would refuse a permanent move to the club instead opting to join fellow Serie A club Roma on a year-long loan.

This decision ended up proving to be the right one for the Egyptian and this would begin the rebirth of his career. After a great first season in which he was named the club’s player of the season, his loan move was made permanent for a fee of £15. He went on to match his form the following year, helping Roma to a second placed finish with 19 goals in all competitions. It was then that Jurgen Klopp took notice.

On 22 June 2017, Liverpool would sign Salah for a club record £36.5m million which would rise to £43 million with add-ons. The move raised the eyebrows of millions of fans who questioned why the Reds would sign a ‘flop’ off the back of a couple of good seasons especially for such a high fee. Needless to say, Salah was committed to proving any doubters and naysayers wrong and he did just that.

He had an incredible first season at Anfield, scoring 32 league goals in 36 appearances along with 11 champions league goals on Liverpool’s route to the final. Though Liverpool would go on to lose the Champions League final to Real Madrid, Salah ended the season as the golden boot winner, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Premier League player of the season, African Footballer of The Year, Liverpool Players and Fans player of the year among others and broke plenty of records. Salah would finally get his hands on a major trophy the following season when Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in the champions league final, in which he would score the opening goal. He then helped them to their first ever Premier League trophy in 2019/20.

Four and a half seasons and a whole handful of trophies later, Salah is now a bonafide legend on Merseyside. He is the Premier League’s highest scoring African player of all time (15th overall) with 125 goals and is now just a handful of goals away from becoming Liverpool’s all time leading Premier League goalscorer. He is a testament to his own hard work and although he may not have had the easiest route to the top, he is undoubtably one of the greatest Premier League players of all time.

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