Liverpool announced on Thursday that the club had signed Egyptian international Mohamed Salah for £34.3 million, and he could be just what they need in order to take a step closer to becoming a title contender.
The 25-year-old midfielder is back in the Premier League after spending the past two-and-a-half years in Italy with Fiorentina and Roma. His first stint in England was a disappointment, as he only made 13 league appearances after signing in the January transfer window in 2014 from Basel. Salah was a very sought-after youngster during the 2013-14 season ,as he was one of Basel’s more prolific players. Chelsea bought him for a reported fee of £11 million, making him the first Egyptian player in club history.
Things didn’t pan out, though, and he was sent out on loan to Fiorentina for the second half of the 2014-15 season after making just eight appearances in all competitions during the first half of the campaign. In Italy, Salah started to showcase his skill set again and had a good showing for Fiorentina, scoring six goals in 16 Serie A appearances.
The following season, he was sent out on loan again, this time to AS Roma. He quickly became an important player for the team, and after posting 14 goals in 34 league games, Roma decided to make his loan move permanent and forked up €15 million to Chelsea last summer.
After another impressive campaign in the Italian capital, 19 goals in all competitions, Salah now will make his way back to England. There he will be an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s team as the Reds strive to become a title contender. Salah is confident that his second time around in the Premier League will be more successful than the first.
“I have improved 100 percent,” Salah told LFCTV in an interview. “Everything [has improved]. Even my personality was different. I was a kid [at Chelsea]. I was 20 or 21. Now I’m four years older and everything is different. I have lots of experience in three clubs.”
Salah is a versatile player that gives Klopp a lot of options in the attacking line. Mostly a right winger, Salah is also more than capable of playing in the middle as a No. 10 or on the left flank.
“Last season with Roma we played five at the back and two strikers; I was a second striker, like a number 10,” Salah said. “I have played on the right. Sometimes I go on the left. I can play anywhere up front.”
Klopp will now have to figure how he wants to form his attacking line with Salah in the mix alongside Liverpool players like Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino. The German manager is probably not done with his spending up front, as a class striker would be a welcome addition to the squad. However the signing of Salah give the team some flexibility, and he has shown in the Serie A that he has a knack for scoring goals.
Salah is a speedy player, has great vision on the field and a sledgehammer of a left foot, so Liverpool fans have a lot to be excited about with this signing. If the team can sort out their defensive deficiencies, then they have a good shot at taking a stab at the title.